UPDATED: 11:20 a.m. ET
Text messages allegedly between Jonathan Majors and the woman he is accused of assaulting in New York City were made public on Thursday morning, nearly a week after the actor’s lawyer said there was enough existing evidence to clear his name.
Attorney Priya Chaudhry shared with TMZ a screenshot of text messages that purport to show the woman blaming herself for Majors’ arrest and expressing disbelief and regret at him being charged criminally.
The texts — all apparently sent and received on Saturday before and after Majors was arrested — are absent of context and show one message supposedly from the actor asking if keys were left before saying “goodbye.”
Hours later, a different text message responds in part by saying there was an assurance that no criminal charges would result from the incident in question.
“I’m so sorry you’re in this position,” one text said before another added later: “I told them it was my fault for trying to grab your phone.”
A subsequent text purportedly to Majors says, “I love you.”
Another text allegedly from the woman said police were told “this was not an attack” and denied any “strangulation” occurred.
Notably, the text added, “I also said 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.”
Chaudhry previously said there was existing video evidence and “written statements” from the woman that would clear Majors’ name. It is not clear if the text messages are the “written statements” Chaudhry was referring to.
Either way, there is seemingly still much uncertainty about the movie star’s future, both in a court of law as well as in the court of public opinion.
In case you missed it, Majors, 33, was arrested Saturday morning after a 30-year-old woman identified as his girlfriend reportedly told the NYPD that he strangled, assaulted and harassed her during a taxi ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
“The victim informed police she was assaulted,” the NYPD said in a statement corroborating the initial narrative.
Within hours, Majors was booked on two misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault, second-degree aggravated harassment, second-degree harassment and third-degree attempted assault and released from custody before the news exploded everywhere on Saturday night.
“We are quickly gathering and presenting evidence to the District Attorney with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently,” Majors’ attorney Priya Chaudhry said on Sunday.
Where is the evidence?
Both Chaudhry and Majors have maintained his innocence, but according to one crisis management professional, time is of the essence to clear his name amid dueling narratives about what happened.
“The next few days are critical to this story,” Gary Rosen, who is not involved in the case, told PEOPLE in an interview published on Wednesday. “Anytime there’s a crisis involved, and especially with a celebrity, timing is key. But if in fact, what Majors’ team is saying turns out to not be true, then that’s a whole different story.”
Chaudhry on Sunday claimed to have not just video evidence but also two separate written statements from the woman in question “recanting these allegations.”
Calling Majors a “victim,” Chaudhry said the evidence includes “video footage from the vehicle where the alleged assault occurred, witness testimony from the driver and others who both saw and heard” the alleged assault. “Most importantly,” Chaudhry continued, there are “two written statements from the woman recanting these allegations.”
Chaudhry said the woman was suffering from an “emotional crisis” that prompted her to be hospitalized, suggesting her medical treatment was not for an assault after all.
“The NYPD is required to make an arrest in these situations, and this is the only reason Mr. Majors was arrested,” Chaudhry added. “We expect these charges to be dropped soon.”
Initial reports claimed that police were called after Majors and his girlfriend got into a dispute during the taxi ride and he reportedly attacked her. She was allegedly hospitalized with minor injuries including a cut near her ear, redness and marks on her face.
On Tuesday, Chaudhry claimed Majors is actually the one who notified the police.
“To set the record straight: As confirmed by one of the woman’s own written statements disavowing her allegations, it is Mr. Majors who called 911 due to concern for her mental health,” Chaudhry’s said in a statement reported by NBC News.
TMZ suggested in a report that the incident may have been caused by jealousy.
Our sources say police were told the girlfriend saw another woman texting Majors, and she confronted him — trying to sneak a peek at his phone. We’re told the alleged victim/GF claims this got Majors mad, and that he allegedly grabbed her hand and allegedly slapped her.
We’re also told the alleged victim claims he put his hands around her neck during this. Our sources say the woman was dropped off somewhere and that JM spent the night elsewhere. It appears the girlfriend went to police the following morning (Sat.) and reported a crime.
Majors’ reputation has been tarnished
Whether innocent or guilty, Majors is already feeling the corporate effect of his arrest.
The seemingly omnipresent actor who’s been on an impressive if not outright dominating streak on the big and small screens in recent years notably had a commercial for the U.S. Army removed from the airwaves following his arrest.
The Army said in a statement that it is “deeply concerned by the allegations.” Noting that even though Majors “is innocent until proven guilty, prudence dictates that we pull our ads until the investigation into these allegations is complete.”
It’s unclear if the arrest has hurt Majors’ standing in Hollywood. He has several hit movies in theaters right now and others lined up for the future. However, at least two people in the acting world have come forward with unverified claims suggesting that Majors has long been “abusive.”
In what could be an indication of the responses to their claims, filmmaker A.B. Allen deleted the tweets in which he made the “abusive” claims before deleting his entire Twitter account.
Stage actor Tim Nicolai called Majors “a sociopath and abuser” and claimed, “that is how virtually everyone speaks about him.” Nicolai suggested the arrest was validation of those claims.
“It’s a shame it took this long for him to be reported,” Nicolai added before explaining that he felt compelled to corroborate claims of abuse.
“It’s both simultaneously awful to know he is still doing this and also a relief that he may never get to again,” Nicolai wrote in a series of tweets that he has since deleted. “A bunch of us are close with people (and sometimes multiple people) he has directly harmed. I don’t know if they will speak on it. It is completely their decision.”
Before making his Twitter account private, Nicolai claimed in his tweets that “people [Majors] did this to are texting me right now. It’s not ‘I heard’.”
As of Thursday morning, Majors remains criminally charged and is scheduled to appear in court to answer for the charges on May 8 — unless the charges are dropped first.
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