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Jonathan Majors accused of abuse by 2 more women, troubling behavior on ‘Lovecraft Country’

Nardine Saad and Stacy Perman – Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Less than two months after a jury handed down a guilty verdict in his assault and harassment case, Jonathan Majors has been accused of abuse by two more women.

The women — Emma Duncan and Maura Hooper, who say they dated Majors between 2013 and 2019 — accused the former Marvel star of physical and emotional abuse during their time as graduate drama students at Yale. Majors’ attorney described the relationships as a “love triangle” that he regrets being in.

They described Majors as “a controlling, threatening figure who isolated them from friends and career pursuits,” according to a new report in the New York Times. Duncan, Majors’ ex-fiancee, accused the actor of choking her, throwing her around and bruising her. Hooper, who became pregnant and had agreed to an abortion while seeing Majors, also said that he had emotionally abused her. Both Duncan and Hooper told the New York Times that “they experienced his hot and cold tendencies” and “manipulative behavior they have come to understand as love bombing.”

The women’s allegations against the 34-year-old actor were submitted to a New York court ahead of his December trial to show a pattern of behavior, but the judge in Majors’ case did not allow the statements into evidence, the New York Times reported. (The newspaper obtained the statements before the trial and said it subsequently confirmed the interactions by contacting multiple friends of the women and with other documents and records.)

Additionally, the“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Creed III” actor was accused of a “history of volatility” while allegedly repeatedly confronting female co-workers on the set of the HBO drama “Lovecraft Country,” leading to a complaint to the network.

In a Friday statement to the Los Angeles Times, Majors’ lawyer Priya Chaudhry described the actor’s relationships with Duncan and Hooper as “toxic” and admitted that he “did say hurtful things” and was “embarrassed by his jealous behavior.”

Chaudhry denied most of the claims of physical abuse, including a threat to strangle Duncan in July 2016, and said Majors did not know about the HBO complaint. A spokeswoman for HBO declined to comment to the New York Times.

“These relationships were between young drama students and all began with mutual intensity. To the extent that this is called ‘love bombing’ — everyone was gladly participating and ‘love bombing’ each other by writing poetry, giving flowers, writing love letters, and cooking each other meals,” Chaudhry said, adding that while Majors and Duncan’s relationship “was mutually emotionally volatile, he did not physically abuse her.”

In response to Duncan’s October 2016 claim about Majors allegedly throwing her into a mailbox, bruising her and threatening to kill himself, his attorney said that he “has always struggled with depression and suicidal ideations.”

“This was a very painful episode for him in which he was trying to hurt himself. Ms. Duncan was physically trying to stop him from harming himself and during this, they both fell into a mailbox,” she said.

As for his relationship with Hooper, Chaudhry said: “Mr. Majors was young and insecure at the time he began his relationship with Ms. Hooper. Looking back, he is embarrassed by some of his jealous behavior and has been addressing these personal, lifelong depression issues with counseling. Like Ms. Hooper, Mr. Majors endured a long list of troubling behavior by Ms. Hooper, but rather than focusing on others, he is choosing to take responsibility for his role in this toxic relationship.”

In 2020, Majors starred alongside Jurnee Smollett and Courtney B. Vance in “Lovecraft Country,” a two-time Emmy-winning series that was canceled in 2021 after one season. It was billed as Majors’ first TV project as a lead actor.

The New York Times said that during principal filming on the series in 2019, three female crew members said they had disturbing experiences with Majors on set. A first assistant director on the horror-drama said that he told her that she did not belong on the production, while another assistant director — identified by the paper as a woman of color — said that the actor made a derogatory racial comment about her appearance. Along with a third woman who was a production assistant, they filed a complaint with HBO, the New York Times reported.

Majors’ attorney said the actor did not know about the complaint to the network and added that he “did not make a derogatory racial comment about anyone.”

“Further, he has never been told that anyone objected to his behavior. Mr. Majors is a Method actor, well-respected for his ability to immerse himself in character. Countless female producers, co-stars, and members on set can attest to his professionalism,” Chaudhry said.

But multiple female crew members also said that these sorts of incidents made it difficult for them to do their jobs and that he treated women differently than their male counterparts on set. They warned each other that he could be argumentative and to tread lightly around him. (Chaudhry also denied those allegations and said that he “proactively discussed” a particular incident involving a sandwich he threw in the trash and worked to make amends.)

An individual who worked with Majors on “Lovecraft Country” previously told the Los Angeles Times that they were taken aback when they heard about the initial allegations against the actor following his March 2023 arrest.

“He was the kindest, most gentle person I ever met. This was a big shock to me,” said the person, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject in the industry. “It was really very early in his career, and he just blew up really fast.”

The person also said they never heard or observed any of the behavior that surfaced on social media following Majors’ arrest. While this individual said that there are other people they could easily see as being accused of such an incident or hearing about one, Majors was not among them. “Seriously, it’s crazy.”

The person said they were waiting to hear something surface that would contradict the charges and allegations and say that this whole episode was some kind of mistake. “I really expected to hear something come out about what happened that was [the opposite] of what had come out,” they said.

In December, Majors was convicted of assault and harassment charges in a New York courtroom after a nearly two-week trial. The “Creed III” actor was found guilty of one count of assault in the third degree and one count of harassment in the second degree against accuser and ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari. Majors, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, was acquitted of a different assault charge and aggravated harassment. Hours after the jury verdict, he was fired by Disney, which owns Marvel.

Majors was scheduled to be sentenced earlier this week but, because of motions filed by the actor’s legal team, the sentencing has been postponed to April 8. He faces up to a year in prison but could also be sentenced to probation.

In his first televised interview since the verdict, Majors — who was a shining star before his arrest for Jabbari’s allegations told ABC News in early January that he hopes 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.”


(L.A. Times staff writers Alexandra Del Rosario and Greg Braxton contributed to this report.)


©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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