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Actor Jonathan Majors' domestic violence trial scheduled for early August
NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Jonathan Majors' domestic violence case will go to trial Aug. 3, a Manhattan judge said Tuesday, casting him in a real-life courtroom drama as his idled Hollywood career hangs in the balance.
Judge Rachel Pauley wished Majors' "best of luck" as she scheduled his trial. "Yes, ma'am," Majors said, standing with his lawyers in front of Pauley's bench in Manhattan's domestic violence court.
Majors, 33, is accused of twisting a woman's arm, striking her head and shoving her into a vehicle in New York City in March. He is charged with several misdemeanors, including assault, and could be sentenced to up to a year in jail if convicted. His lawyer says he's innocent.
Tuesday's hearing was his first time in court since just after his March 25 arrest in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. He appeared by video at a brief hearing in the case last month where prosecutors announced they had revised the assault charge to reflect the perspective of Majors' accuser. A police officer's account was used in the original version.
Before his case was called Tuesday, Majors watched from the courtroom gallery — his lawyers and his girlfriend Meagan Good, who stars in the "Shazam!" films, by his side.
Majors' legal team, led by lawyer Priya Chaudhry, had been pushing to have the actor's charges thrown out, contending that evidence contradicts the allegations and police and prosecutors have shown racial bias toward Majors, who is Black.
Before scheduling Majors' trial, the judge issued a sealed decision that prompted Chaudhry to withdraw court papers she'd filed challenging the case. Pauley handed copies of her ruling to Majors' lawyers and prosecutors, but did not discuss any details in open court.
Majors, who plays villain Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel films, showed up to court wearing a brown corduroy coat and sunglasses. He said little other than his brief exchange with the judge, which lasted all of three minutes. He smiled at times during his court appearance, which was rescheduled from June 13.
Majors had been a fast-rising Hollywood star with major roles in recent hits like "Creed III" and "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania." But in the wake of his arrest, the U.S. Army pulled TV commercials starring Majors, saying it was "deeply concerned" by the allegations.
Disney last month postponed Majors' upcoming Marvel film "Avengers: Kang Dynasty" from May 2025 to May 2026. He is also slated to appear in "Avengers: Secret Wars" in 2027.
Majors' accuser, a 30-year-old woman, alleges he pulled her finger, twisted her arm behind her back, struck and cut her ear and pushed her into a vehicle, causing her to fall backwards. The woman, who was not named in court papers, was treated at a hospital for minor head and neck injuries, police said.
Judge Pauley told Majors he must continue to abide by a protection order barring him from contact with his accuser. The judge also warned that a warrant could be issued for his arrest if he does not show up for his trial date.
Chaudhry contends the charges against Majors are baseless and that she's given prosecutors "irrefutable evidence that the woman is lying, including video proof showing nothing happened, especially not where she claimed."
Majors' accuser harmed him, Chaudhry said, but when the actor tried showing his injuries to police, a white officer got in his face and taunted him.