Jonathan Majors is holding on to the hand that fired him.
The actor, whose career was skyrocketing with several acclaimed film and TV performances and a central role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally speaking out after a New York jury found him guilty last month of assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend, actor Grace Jabbari. Hours after the jury verdict, he was fired by Disney, which owns Marvel.
In a bizarre twist of reputation rehab, Majors, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, granted an exclusive interview on his recent troubles to ABC News, which is also owned by Disney.
Usually a celebrity on a redemption tour would seek exposure at a venue separate from one that dropped him.
During the interview, which aired Monday on “Good Morning America,” Majors, who is scheduled to be sentenced in February and could receive up to a year in prison, was emotional as he gave his version of the physical confrontation during a March 24 car ride that led to his arrest the following day.
At one point, he said he felt he could still have a future in Hollywood: “I pray I do. It’s God’s plan and God’s timing.” Despite the conviction, he said he felt he deserved a second chance. “I hope other people think that.”
Prosecutors, who described the couple’s relationship as “tumultuous and abusive,” said Majors assaulted Jabbari after she read a romantic text message sent to his phone by another woman. Majors allegedly grabbed Jabbari’s hand so hard he fractured her middle finger, and also allegedly struck her face with an open hand and pushed her into a vehicle. She was hospitalized for minor injuries.
In introducing the segment, anchor Linsey Davis said Majors described the two-year relationship with Jabbari as “toxic, dangerous and unhealthy,” but that there was absolutely no physical abuse by him. The couple met in 2021 on the set of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” where he played the villain Kang the Conqueror.
He said he was speaking out now because “a lot has happened in my personal life, my career and the culture.” At times he wiped away tears, saying he hadn’t seen his daughter in a long time: “A lot has to do with this situation.”
Wearing a dark gray coat and black turtleneck, Majors added that he was “absolutely shocked” by the verdict: “How is that possible based on the evidence, based on the prosecution’s evidence, let alone our evidence?”
His attorney Priya Chaudhry had argued that Jabbari fabricated the incident. Chaudhry contended that her client’s race (Majors is Black, Jabbari is white) played a role in his arrest, and that Jabbari’s allegations were part of her efforts to “ruin Jonathan Majors and take away everything he has spent his whole life working for.”
Questioning Majors, Davis said, “[Jabarri] said inside the car you hit her in the face, twisted her arm behind her back, fractured her middle finger.”
“That did not happen,” said Majors, who did not take the stand during the trial.
He continued, saying, “She went to grab the phone. I held the phone. I pulled the phone back, She came on top of me, squeezed my face, slapped me. That’s all I remember.”
When asked about how Jabbari’s injuries, which were photographed by police, came about, Majors paused before saying, “I wish to God I knew. That would give clarity, give me some type of peace about it.”
The jury found Majors guilty of recklessly assaulting Jabbari in the third degree and harassing her in the second degree. Majors said in the interview that he “was reckless with her heart, not with her body.” He said that he loved Jabbari, but that the relationship “was not healthy” and that he “should have walked away.”
Another part of the interview concerned an audio clip played in court where the actor criticized Jabbari for not living up to the standards set by spouses of famous Black men, such as Coretta Scott King and Michelle Obama.
“I’m a great man. A great man,” Majors said in the recording. “I am doing great things, not just for me but for my culture and for the world. That’s actually the position I’m in. The woman who supports me needs to be a great woman.”
Said Majors of the recording: “It was me giving an analogy of what it is I’m aspiring to be. … I need her to make the same sacrifices that I’m making.”
During the trial, prosecutors also presented text messages in which Majors had expressed suicidal thoughts: “Maybe I’m such a monster and a horrible man that I don’t deserve it.”
He admitted during the interview to having thoughts of suicide ever since he was a child, bu that those feelings were not there anymore because he was “doing the work” to keep them at bay.
Present during the interview was actress Meagan Good (“Harlem”), Majors’ new girlfriend, who also accompanied him each day in court.
Whether the televised interview will succeed in saving Majors’ career remains to be seen. In addition to being dropped by Marvel, his 2023 Sundance competition film “Magazine Dreams,” which had sparked early Oscar buzz, remains unreleased.