Jonathan Majors On Trial: Opening Statements Finally Set In Domestic Violence Case Against Movie Star

Jonathan Majors On Trial: Opening Statements Finally Set In Domestic Violence Case Against Movie Star

Opening statements were finally set for Monday in the domestic violence trial in which movie star Jonathan Majors is accused of assaulting his former girlfriend in a case that has rocked Hollywood and placed an emphasis on the topic of race.

Majors’ defense attorney will finally get a chance to plead her case in a court of law against prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office following months of strategic appeals to the court of public opinion since the actor’s high-profile arrest for allegedly striking Grace Jabbari back in March.

MORE: The Marvelous Rise Of Jonathan Majors

Priya Chaudhry, Majors’ attorney, has maintained her client’s innocence and alleged police bias, claiming that the officers present failed to investigate the alleged assault properly and coached Jabbari to accuse the actor of assault. Chaudhry has also claimed to have provided video footage and witness testimonies supporting Majors’ innocence. In addition, Chaudhry said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office tends to “weaponize accusations where a Black man is accused by a white woman.”

Jabbari is white.

Jury selection in the trial began last week and was completed on Friday.

If convicted, Majors faces up to a year in jail.

Check back for frequent updates as the trial moves forward.

In the meantime, Majors has been an upstanding citizen including, once, notably as a Good Samaritan after being shown on video purportedly breaking up a high school fight in footage that went viral and invited suspicion of being staged to produce positive press coverage for the actor.

Majors has also found love with actress Meaghan Good, who has faithfully been by the actor’s side during his court dates leading up to the trial.

With that as the backdrop for the trial, here’s everything else you need to know as opening statements are set to begin:

What is Majors accused of doing?

On March 25, the NYPD arrested Majors outside of his Chelsea apartment.

He and Jabbari allegedly got into a dispute as they were inside a cab riding to Manhattan from Brooklyn. Chaudhry claims Jabbari “was attempting to steal” Majors’ phone when the incident occurred. Chaudhry filed legal documents in Manhattan stating that the cab driver witnessed Jabbari assault the actor around 1 a.m., hours before he was arrested.

After the incident, Jabbari allegedly told police that she had suffered a broken finger and a laceration behind her ear, but Chaudhry said there is video footage to prove that the woman’s statement was “a complete lie.” Security footage obtained by TMZ showed the woman in a nightclub shortly after the incident with Majors using her right hand normally — the same hand that she claimed Majors injured before they parted ways earlier in the night.

The opinion of a forensic medical expert has also been touted by Chaudhry as another way to help put an end to claims of domestic assault against Majors, who will be able to file a civil suit against Jabbari if he is found innocent.

In late March, Chaudhry released a screenshot of a text message to Majors in which Jabbari appeared to take the blame for the incident. She allegedly assured the actor that she did not tell the police she was attacked.

“Please let me know you’re okay when you get this,” she allegedly wrote in the texts. “They assured me that you won’t be charged.”

Jabbari allegedly continued: “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.”

On April 19, Variety reported that more women have come forward with allegations of abuse against Majors. They are cooperating with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

In late October, Jabbari was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of assault and criminal mischief before Bragg’s office said it “declined to prosecute the case against Grace Jabbari because it lacks prosecutorial merit.”

Even before the surprise arrest of Majors, people in the movie industry were reportedly calling the actor an abuser. Those unfounded accusations were trumpeted even louder shortly after Majors’ arrest in a series of tweets that have since been deleted.

Since the arrest, Majors has been dropped by his reps at Lede and his management company, Entertainment 360. The fate of his future in Hollywood is unclear.

Jonathan Majors Court Date

Priya Chaudhry, lawyer for Jonathan Majors, leaves Manhattan Criminal court on May 9, 2023, in New York City. | Source: Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Getty

Chaudhry’s past high-profile cases

Chaudhry is described on her website as an award-winning attorney who is “[n]ationally recognized as a premier criminal trial lawyer.” It also says she has worked “over 40 jury trials in over 20 years of practice in some of the nation’s most complicated and high-profile criminal cases.”

Most recently, just last month Chaudhry secured the full acquittal of another high-profile Black male client accused of a violent crime in New York City. Chaudhry touted the not-guilty verdict for Adam Foss, a former Boston prosecutor and prominent criminal justice-reform advocate charged in 2017 with allegedly raping and assaulting a 25-year-old woman. In doing so, Chaudhry claimed Bragg “ignored” evidence that should have precluded any criminal charges against Foss – claims similar to those she’s made about the district attorney’s office’s case against Majors.

In a pair of separate statements emailed to NewsOne, Chaudhry has also questioned the ethics of Braggs’ office and cited an “eagerness” to bring hasty criminal charges — particularly when a Black man is accused of a violent crime by a white woman.

“Furthermore, there is a concerning trend within the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office to weaponize accusations where a Black man is accused by a white woman, casting aside the need for robust evidence in favor of narrative-driven prosecutions,” Chaudhry said. “This represents a misapplication of justice, fueled by societal biases that have no place in a system pledged to fairness and equality.”

Chaudhry went on to accuse Braggs’ office of having “strayed from its mission to impartially uphold the law. Instead, it has drifted toward a path of character assassination and publicity-driven prosecution.”

Other high-profile cases in which Chaudhry was the defense attorney produced mixed results.


NYC DA’s Office That Quickly Charged Jonathan Majors Took Its Time Deciding If Jordan Neely Was Murdered

‘Snowbunnied?’ Dr. Umar Johnson Has Questions About Jonathan Majors’ Arrest

Wayne Gardine and Jabar Walker exonerated in NYC from murder convictions

The post Jonathan Majors On Trial: Opening Statements Finally Set In Domestic Violence Case Against Movie Star appeared first on NewsOne.

Lenny Kravitz sets the record straight on comments about Black media

Lenny Kravitz sets the record straight on comments about Black media

In an exclusive statement to theGrio, the four-time Grammy winner says his comments were specifically about Black award shows and ensuring that Black artists performing “non-traditional” Black music get recognized.

Rocker Lenny Kravitz wants to make it clear he doesn’t have a beef with Black media.

In a statement released exclusively to theGrio, the four-time Grammy winner clarified recent comments he made in an interview with Esquire magazine in which he wondered why his success wasn’t “celebrated” by Black entertainment publications or why he’d never been invited to the BET or Source Awards.

Lenny Kravitz attends the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 3rd Annual Gala Presented by Rolex at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Academy Museum of Motion Pictures )

“And it’s like, here is a Black artist who has reintroduced many Black art forms, who has broken down barriers—just like those that came before me broke down. That is positive. And they don’t have anything to say about it?” he told Esquire.

The comments sparked some pushback, including a column by theGrio’s Michael Harriot.

“The comment I made was not about ‘black media’ or the ‘black community.’” Kravitz said in the statement. “I was specifically referring to black award shows in particular. My comment was meant to express a concern about ensuring that black artists are being recognized for their work in what is now being called “non-traditional” black music, which it is not.”

Here’s Kravitz’s statement in full:

“It is important to me to set the record straight on recent media reports based on an interview I did.

My black musical heritage means a lot to me, and I owe my success to my supporters who have taken this journey with me over the span of my career.

The comment I made was not about ‘black media’ or the ‘black community.’ I was specifically referring to black award shows in particular. 

My comment was meant to express a concern about ensuring that black artists are being recognized for their work in what is now being called “non-traditional” black music, which it is not.

Rock and roll is the music we were instrumental in creating and is a part of our history. We must retain our heritage and celebrate that together.

BET and countless others have paved the way for this type of recognition.  I hope that by sharing my concern a spotlight will be shone on this issue.

Love and peace.

Kravitz’s 12th studio album, “Blue Electric Light,” will be released March 15, 2024.

Never miss a beat: Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter.

The post Lenny Kravitz sets the record straight on comments about Black media appeared first on TheGrio.

Exonerated! Wrongly Convicted Black Folks Whose Names Have Been Cleared

Exonerated! Wrongly Convicted Black Folks Whose Names Have Been Cleared

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

UPDATED: 12:30 p.m. ET, Oct 12, 2023

It’s a tragic story told time and time again: Black people convicted of crimes they never actually committed.

That truth was been revealed twofold this week with the exonerations of two Black men who were imprisoned for a combined more than a half-century for murder convictions in New York City that newly discovered evidence showed they had nothing to do with.

MORE: Correcting An ‘Abomination Of Justice,’ The Groveland Four Were Finally Exonerated 72 Years After Being Wrongfully Accused Of Raping A White Woman

Thanks to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which on Monday announced the exonerations Wayne Gardine and Jabar Walker are now officially free.

From the DA:

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced his Office moved to vacate the conviction of Wayne Gardine, 49, for a 1996 murder conviction in the shooting of 22-year-old Robert Mickens; and Jabar Walker, 49, for a 1998 double-murder conviction in the shooting of 32-year-old William Santana and 30-year-old Ismael De La Cruz. Walker, who was 23 at the time of his conviction, was released from prison today after serving 25 years of two consecutive terms of 25 years-to-life in prison.

In Gardine’s case, “a joint investigation between the Office’s Post-Conviction Justice Unit and the Legal Aid Society uncovered new evidence from a second witness that undermined the testimony from the sole witness used at trial,” the DA’s office said.

In Walker’s case, a key witness “recanted his testimony under oath in 1999 and 2021, saying he was pressured to implicate Mr. Walker,” which the DA said shows he “received ineffective assistance of counsel, as his defense attorney failed conduct a meaningful investigation or adequately probe the weaknesses in the testimony of these witnesses.”

A bombshell study in 2017 confirmed what Black people had long known to be true: that Black people are more likely to be wrongly convicted of murder than people from any other group. To add insult to the injury of wrongful convictions, innocent Black people waited years longer than the average time it took a white prisoner accused of the same crime to be exonerated.

“It’s no surprise that in this area, as in almost any other that has to do with criminal justice in the United States, race is the big factor,” Samuel R. Gross, a University of Michigan law professor, told the New York Times.

Of course, the so-called Central Park 5-turned Exonerated 5 are perhaps the most widely recognized instances of Black people being cleared following wrongful convictions. They were the group of Black and brown teens who were falsely accused and imprisoned between five and 12 years stemming from false allegations of raping a white woman in the 1980s.

The list of Black men, women, and teens who have faced wrongful convictions from prosecutors after being unjustly arrested and accused by corrupt police officers is far too long. Keep reading to find a growing list of additional examples.

The post Exonerated! Wrongly Convicted Black Folks Whose Names Have Been Cleared appeared first on NewsOne.

C-Murder Will Continue To Serve Life Sentence After Murder Conviction Is Upheld

C-Murder Will Continue To Serve Life Sentence After Murder Conviction Is Upheld

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance ruled Nov. 13 to uphold C-Murder’s 2009 murder conviction.

C-Murder will continue his life sentence. Vance’s ruling upholds a state court decision, which found two witnesses’ attempts to recant testimonies to be “suspect and not reliable,” given the multiple times they identified C-Murder, real name Corey Miller, as the shooter.

Steve Thomas, 16, was shot and killed at New Orleans’ Platinum Club around 1 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2002.

The judge’s ruling cited Miller’s need to “put forth clear and convincing evidence of error in the state court’s findings of fact, which he has failed to do.” But the rapper plans to appeal Vance’s decision to a higher federal court.

After two trials, C-Murder was convicted of murder. His conviction was based on testimonies from two eyewitnesses, a security guard named Darnell Jordan who worked at Platinum Club, and a second witness named Kenneth Jordan.

Darnell Jordan testified to seeing 15-20 people assaulting Thomas and a flash from C-Murder’s hand, presumably a gunshot. Kenneth Jordan testified that celebrities were allowed to bypass metal detectors to get inside the club and identified C-Murder as the shooter from a photo lineup.

In 2018 both Darnell and Kenneth signed affidavits recanting their testimonies and accusing police investigators of pressuring them to give the statements. In 2019, a Jefferson Parish judge ruled against C-Murder and found the recantations not credible.

Celebrities like C-Murder’s brother, Master P; his ex-girlfriend, singer Monica, and reality star Kim Kardashian have advocated for C-Murder’s release, citing the recanted testimonies.

“I wanted to shed some light on a case that I’ve been working on for years…,” Kardashian wrote in a lengthy statement in August. “Corey Miller deserves a day in court to test the veracity of the recanted statements and to prove that he did not shoot Steve Thomas.”

Members of Thomas’s family slammed Kardashian for reopening a wound by advocating for C-Murder, who they say is guilty of killing the teenager.

RELATED CONTENT: Cop Who Killed George Floyd Is Stabbed In Prison And The Internet Does Not ‘Give A Damn’

Derek Chauvin Shanked In Prison, X Goes About Its Business

Derek Chauvin Shanked In Prison, X Goes About Its Business

Source: Minnesota Department of Corrections / Minnesota Department of Corrections

George Floyd’s murderer, Derek Chauvin, is reportedly in the hospital after he was assaulted by a fellow inmate. Apparently, the disgraced ex-cop got shanked.


Reportedly, Chauvin, 47, got stabbed on Friday (Nov. 24) in Arizona.

Reports the Associated Press:

The attack happened at the Federal Correctional Institution, Tucson, a medium-security prison that has been plagued by security lapses and staffing shortages. The person was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the attack and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

The Bureau of Prisons confirmed that an incarcerated person was assaulted at FCI Tucson at around 12:30 p.m. local time Friday. In a statement, the agency said responding employees contained the incident and performed “life-saving measures” before the inmate, who it did not name, was taken to a hospital for further treatment and evaluation.

Chauvin Chauvin is serving a 22-year sentence for second degree murder and a 21-year sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights.

News of Chauvin catching an L was met with what you should expect in the social media universe; from kudos to obliviousness to any suffering the convicted murderer may have to endure. We compiled some of the best in the gallery.

Axel Foley Back: ‘Beverly Hills Cop 4’ Starring Eddie Murphy Officially Starts Filming

Axel Foley Back: ‘Beverly Hills Cop 4’ Starring Eddie Murphy Officially Starts Filming

It’s been ages since Eddie Murphy has blessed his fans with his foul-mouthed, fan-favorite detective. Axel Foley in a Beverly Hills Cop film. But after almost a cool 30 years, the franchise is set to return with a fourth installment and sho’nuff, the iconic comedian will be returning as the hilarious character.

According to Deadline, Beverly Hills Cop 4 has officially gone into production and Netflix has shared the first images from the set of the film and it features Eddie Murphy in Axel Foley’s classic varsity jacket and jeans fit that he sported in the first few films. Debuting as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop in 1984, Eddie Murphy’s movie career skyrocketed after having made a name for himself on Saturday Night Live and his classic stand-up film, Delirious.

The success of the first film led to two more sequels before the character was retired as Eddie moved on to other films. Now that the man has been slowly reintegrating himself on the movie scene, the legendary comedian is set to resurrect the beloved franchise almost 30 years after it kicked off and we’re all here for it.

Deadline reports:

Mark Molloy directs the sequel, which also stars Kevin Bacon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Taylour Paige, along with Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Paul Reiser and Bronson Pinchot reprising their characters from previous installments.

Will Beall penned the script. Murphy also produces, along with Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman of Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Charisse Hewitt-Webster and Ray Angelic will exec produce the new movie. Melissa Reid of Jerry Bruckheimer Films will co-produce.

The franchise moved from Paramount to Netflix in the winter of 2019 and follows the adventures of Detroit cop Foley, who first appeared in the 1984 smash hit that followed him to Beverly Hills to solve the murder of a friend. The film became one of the year’s biggest hits and solidified Murphy’s movie-star status. It was followed by two sequels, in 1987 and 1994. The first film grossed $234 million at the U.S. box office, making it the highest-grossing domestic release of 1984, and received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 1985.

We. Can’t. Wait.

Beverly Hills Cop 4 is set to hit Netflix sometime in 2024 but don’t be surprised if it drops on December 5, 2024 which would be exactly 30 years after the original hit theaters.

Will you be checking for Beverly Hills Cop 4 next year? Let us know in the comments section below.