On March 26, 2023, Jonathan Majors was arrested in the Chelsea Neighborhood of New York City. The big question is Why was Jonathan Majors arrested?
The 33-year-old actor starred in a couple of big franchises this year starting with the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kang the Conquerer. His character made a surprise cameo in the Disney+ show Loki in 2022. However, his character is set to be the main villain of Phase Five of the series after being the focus of the film Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. On the longevity of the character and how his multiverse character is integral to the MCU story. In an interview with Variety in 2022, Jonathan Majors, who plays Kang, revealed that he and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty director Destin Daniel Crettin have spoken at length about how his character will fit into Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Well, we just had a few chats. We spoke for a very long time,” Majors said. “He’s an open mind. He’s an open heart. He and the work that he does is grounded and that’s the most important part about it.”
He also starred as the friend-turned-adversary of Adonis Creed, Damian Anderson in Creed III which premiered weeks before his arrest.
So why was Jonathan Majors arrested? Read more below to find out.
Why was Jonathan Majors arrested? Jonathan Majors was arrested Saturday morning March 25, 2023, in Manhattan, New York after a 911 call on suspicion of strangulation, assault, and harassment. The victim claims the defendant did “strike her about the face with an open hand, causing substantial pain and a laceration behind her ear,” according to the Manhattan DA’s office. The woman was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries to her head and neck according to NYPD. She was in stable condition as of Sunday morning, March 26, 2023. That day, Majors was arraigned on several assault and harassment charges Sunday, the Manhattan DA’s office told CNN. He is expected to appear in court on May 8, 2023.
Majors denies the allegations of assault and maintains his innocence. The actor’s representative told Buzzfeed News: “Jonathan Majors is completely innocent and is probably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows,” says criminal defense lawyer Priya Chaudhry, who represents Jonathan Majors. “We are quickly gathering and presenting evidence to the District Attorney with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently.” The statement continued: “All the evidence proves that Mr. Majors is entirely innocent and did not assault her whatsoever,” she said. “Unfortunately, this incident came about because this woman was having an emotional crisis, for which she was taken to a hospital yesterday. The NYPD is required to make an arrest in these situations, and this is the only reason Mr. Majors was arrested. We expect these charges to be dropped soon.” Chaudhry also told the Los Angeles Times that her team has obtained “two written statements from the woman recanting these allegations.”
Days after the arrest, Jonathan Majors’ lawyer Priya Chaudhry shared alleged text messages to several outlets like Entertainment Tonight which claims to show a woman texting Majors that she was angry about the actor’s charges.
“Please let me know you’re okay when you get this,” the alleged text begins. “They assured me that you won’t be charged. They said they had to arrest you as protocol when they saw the injuries on me and they knew we had a fight. I’m so angry that they did. And I’m sorry you’re in this position. Will make sure nothing happens about this. I told them it was my fault for trying to grab your phone. I only just got out of hospital. Just call me when you’re out.”
The next alleged message simply reads, “I love you, before a lengthy third message.
“They just called me again to check on me and I reiterated how this was not an attack and they do not have my blessing on any charges being placed. I read the paper they gave me about strangulation and I said point blank this did not occur and should be removed immediately,” the third alleged text reads. “The judge is definitely going to be told this. She ensured this to me. I know you have the best team and there’s nothing to worry about. I just want you to know that I’m doing all I can [on] my end. I also said to tell the judge to know that the origin of the call was to do with me collapsing and passing out and your worry as my partner due to our communication prior. Out of care. She promised all will be relayed.”
Chaudry shared another statement which denied Majors assault. “Around 11 a.m. on March 25, 2023, Jonathan Majors called 911 out of concern for the woman’s mental health. The police arrived with the paramedics, as is standard procedure, and arrested Mr. Majors due to an NYPD protocol requiring arrest in certain circumstances,” Chaudhry said in the statement. “On that same day, only 7 and 9 hours later, the woman sent text messages to Mr. Majors admitting that she was the one who used physical force against him. She also disavowed any allegations that he had done anything to her and confirmed that Mr. Majors called 911 because of her mental condition. These are those messages, redacting the woman’s name for her privacy.”
The U.S. Army suspended its TV ad campaign featuring Majors that was intended to target younger audiences pending an investigation into the incident. The Army Enterprise Marketing Office said in a statement Sunday that the U.S. Army is “deeply concerned by the allegations surrounding his arrest.” A representative for the U.S. Armed Forces told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday in a statement that the Army is “deeply concerned about the allegations.”
“While Mr. Majors is innocent until proven guilty, prudence dictates that we pull our ads until the investigation into these allegations is complete,” the statement read. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, John Carstens, executive creative director of Team DDB who is in charge of the Army campaigns, explained the choice of Majors for the ads. “There’s something about him, there’s a certain kind of gravitas. I found him to be just a really interesting screen presence on that show.” The executive saw the actor as a rising star, not a celebrity pitchman, explaining that there was no intention for Majors to be an ongoing face for the Army. “He has become much more famous recently, in the months since [the commercials were shot], with Ant Man and Creed coming out. Nobody knew about [Sundance hit] Magazine Dreams. This Army campaign is right in the middle of this rapid sequence.” Cartsens declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter about Majors after the arrest.
DeFrancisco said the remainder of the campaign will continue nationwide, including ads planned for the upcoming Final Four of the NCAA March Madness men’s college basketball tournament. A senior marketing official with knowledge of the situation told The Army Times that the next round of commercials was slated to arrive in August. The Army had reportedly already invested millions in advertisement purchases for the 2023 NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, with immersive in-person events for the tournament’s Final Four.
The news also comes days after Majors’ latest film Magazine Dreams announced a release date of December 8, 2023. He plays Killian Maddox, a man determined to make it in the world of bodybuilding even as he faces a number of struggles, from dealing with feelings of alienation to anger issues, and looking after his ailing grandfather.
Majors rose to fame when he starred in the critically acclaimed Lovecraft Country as Atticus Sampson “Tick” Freeman. He was also the lead in A24’s The Last Black Man In San Francisco. He starred alongside Chadwick Boseman and Delroy Lindo in Spike Lee’s war drama film Da 5 Bloods, which was released on Netflix in 2020.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for confidential support.