In Closing Argument, Lawyer for Majors Says Accuser Invented Story

A lawyer for the actor Jonathan Majors on Thursday attacked the ex-girlfriend who has accused Mr. Majors of assault, calling her a liar who had injured herself but pinned the blame on her boyfriend to punish him for straying.

Manhattan prosecutors in March charged Mr. Majors, 34, with misdemeanor assault and harassment, saying that he had attacked his girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, 30, as they rode in a hired S.U.V.

In her closing argument in Mr. Majors’s trial Thursday, his lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, used photographs and video evidence that showed that Ms. Jabbari had gone out drinking after the altercation — and that appeared to show her using the finger that Mr. Majors was accused of injuring.

“It’s hard to keep your story straight when you’re making it up as you go,” Ms. Chaudhry said.

She spoke for more than an hour, and was to be followed by prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, who are also expected to draw on Ms. Jabbari’s testimony to make their argument; Mr. Majors declined to testify. Afterward, jurors will deliberate and deliver a verdict.

Mr. Majors and Ms. Jabbari each have accused the other of assault as they were heading to their shared home in the early morning hours of March 25. They agree that the altercation began when Ms. Jabbari said she saw Mr. Majors, her boyfriend at the time, receive a flirtatious text message.

According to prosecutors, Ms. Jabbari grabbed the phone in an attempt to get a better look at the message — which said “I wish I was kissing you” — but Mr. Majors got on top of her, twisted her arm behind her back, pried her fingers off the phone and hit her. During the fight, Ms. Jabbari said, she fractured her right middle finger and suffered a deep cut behind her ear.

“It felt painful. It felt uncomfortable,” Mr. Jabbari testified last week, adding that she was in pain, but that her “emotional state was really just thinking about the infidelity.”

The defense has argued that Ms. Jabbari flew into a jealous rage and attacked Mr. Majors.

The actor’s harshest possible punishment would be a year in prison if he is found guilty, but he would be more likely to receive probation. However, a guilty verdict could further jeopardize his career, which was frozen in place by the charges.

Mr. Majors was expected to anchor Marvel’s next round of superhero movies, and was awaiting the wide release of a buzzed about star vehicle, “Magazine Dreams,” which has now been put on hold.

The proceedings, thus far, have not rescued his reputation — the most significant news to emerge from them was a text exchange with Ms. Jabbari that appeared to substantiate prosecutors’ argument that he had been abusive in past episodes.

But Mr. Majors’s lawyers have banked on persuading the jury otherwise, and rescuing his career in the process.

Ms. Chaudhry poured her energy into the effort during her closing argument. She repeated the phrase “If you believe Grace” over and over, before pointing out seeming contradictions in Ms. Jabbari’s story, including that the laceration behind her ear had not left any trace of blood.

“Where is the blood?” she said, adding, “How are they going to explain the utter absence of blood from a head wound that would immediately have turned Grace’s shirt into a crime scene?”

At one point, she said that Ms. Jabbari’s account of the episode would have required Mr. Majors to have arms like “Inspector Gadget” in order to stretch across the S.U.V.’s seat to assault her.

Toward the end of her closing, Ms. Chaudhry argued that Mr. Majors — who called the police himself — had entered what she characterized as a “nightmare.” She punctuated her comment with a sob.

“His fear of what happens when a Black man in America calls 911 came true,” she said. “And now we are here.”

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