The predicament in which Jonathan Majors finds himself is no laughing matter with his domestic violence trial scheduled to begin on Friday following multiple delays.
But still, it would be a vast understatement to say that social media users found humor in a new video showing the actor purportedly breaking up a fight between two high school students in southern California.
On Thursday, TMZ released video footage from the incident in West Hollywood that starts out showing two female high school students violently brawling with each other as their friends watch while laughing. As one of the girls picks herself up off the ground to continue fighting her opponent, Majors is shown running into the frame and separating the two.
Meanwhile, at least one of the friends has a laptop out for a reason that is unclear while others are filming the fight on their phones.
The news story about the fight was published earlier this week to little fanfare, but the video footage has seemingly revived interest in the story. But perhaps not in the way Majors and his team might have been expecting from the optics that show him in a heroic light.
The footage was greeted on social media with extreme skepticism as the prevailing question seemed to be: Was the video staged?
After all, when the public all but shrugged at the news story, video footage just happened to hit the internet the day before Majors is scheduled to stand trial for felony charges alleging he assaulted his then-girlfriend back in March.
The combination of questionable circumstances and convenient timing added up to a social media meme bonanza ridiculing the video and mocking it as being completely staged, though there was no proof to back up those claims.
The bottom line is that social media users had questions galore about the context and veracity of the footage. Namely, why was Jonatan Majors hanging around a high school?
TMZ reported that Majors just happened to be “grabbing lunch” at the time of the fight, but it’s unclear where exactly the incident happened. Majors reportedly told TMZ he just wanted to make sure everybody was safe.
Could the video footage have been seen by prospective jurors who will be selected to work Majors’ trial? Perhaps.
Could it have all been part of a grand plan by Majors’ lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, who has a shaky legal track record and has already pulled several questionable moves since the actor was arrested a few months ago? Possibly?
At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. But to let critics on social media tell it, the answers to those questions are a collective, resounding yes.
What is Majors accused of doing?
Majors’ criminal case stems from allegations made by Grace Jabbari on March 25, when the NYPD arrested the actor outside of his Chelsea apartment.
The two 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 the woman with Majors assault the actor around 1 a.m., hours before he was arrested.
The cab driver will prove that Majors did not hit or choke the woman “in any way at any time, or even raised his voice,” Chaudhry’s filing says in part.
According to the filing, the driver also saw the woman, “hitting, scratching and attacking” Majors. At one point during the incident, Majors asked the driver to pull over so that he could escape the alleged assault, the filing claims.
The driver is expected to testify at the trial.
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 prior to them parting 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 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.”
“They said they had to arrest you as protocol when they saw the injuries on me and they knew we had a fight,” she continued. “I’m so angry that they did. And I’m sorry you’re in this position.”
Since the arrest, Majors has been dropped by his reps at Lede and his management company, Entertainment 360. He was also scheduled to appear at the Met Gala alongside designer Valentino, but those plans have been canceled due to the high-profile assault case.
More trouble may be looming on the horizon for the embattled star. 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.
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.
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