During opening statements in Jonathan Majors' criminal trial Monday, a prosecutor said the Marvel star inflicted a "manipulative pattern of psychological abuse" and physical abuse on his former girlfriend that culminated with a March 25 assault in a for-hire Cadillac Escalade -- after she caught him cheating -- that left her with bruising, substantial pain and a laceration to her ear.
Prosecutor Michael Perez said the actor's girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, saw a message pop up on Majors' phone from a woman named Cleopatra that said "wish I was kissing you." When Jabbari grabbed the phone to read the message, Majors "began grabbing Ms. Jabbari's body," Perez said.
"He grabbed and squeezed her hand, her right middle finger specifically" and then "struck a blow that swiped across the right side of her head," according to Perez.
Meanwhile, the defense claimed Monday that Jabbari slapped, clawed and otherwise physically attacked Majors so blatantly that night the driver of their for-hire SUV called her "psycho girl."
Defense attorney Priya Chaudhry said Jabbari emerged unscathed and unhurt while Majors was left bloodied and ran to a hotel to hide from her.
Jabbari was seen on video "drinking champagne and doing shots" at a club for the next three hours, "taking smiling photos" with people she had just met, according to Chaudhry.
"This is a case about the end of a relationship, not about a crime," Chaudhry said.
"Even though the world may see him as a movie star, he is a normal person," Chaudhry said of Majors. "His career was unstoppable until he ended the relationship with Ms. Jabbari and she made these false allegations."
Prior to the start of opening statements, the two sides agreed to consolidate the multiple assault counts against Majors into a single misdemeanor count. He also faces aggravated harassment charges.
The 34-year-old actor has pleaded not guilty. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted.