As Jonathan Majors prepares for a court appearance on May 8 on domestic violence charges, his public relations problems are about to get worse.
Sources familiar with the matter say Variety that several alleged victims of Majors abuse came forward after his arrest in March and are cooperating with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The prospect of more women waiting behind the scenes would mark a dramatic turn in the case and comes after publicists and Majors’ management company cut ties with the beleaguered actor earlier this week.
The DA declined to comment.
“Jonathan Majors is innocent and has not abused anyone. We have provided compelling evidence to the District Attorney that the charges are false. We are confident that he will be fully exonerated,” Majors attorney Priya Chaudhry said. , in a press release.
The “Creed III” star was arrested March 25 in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan for strangulation, assault and harassment. At the time, an NYPD spokesperson said in a statement that a 30-year-old woman told police she was assaulted by 33-year-old Majors and “sustained minor injuries to the head and neck and was transported to an area hospital in stable condition.” But Chaudhry mounted an immediate and aggressive response, insisting the actor “is clearly the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows” and suggested the woman was having an “emotional breakdown”. A source familiar with the timeline of events said the lawyer released the statement while still behind bars.
Chaudhry’s husband, Andrew Bourke, is the Majors’ crisis publicist and doubled down on the narrative that Majors was the victim when he posted a series of text messages on March 30 that were meant to be exonerated. In the text message exchange, which has not been independently verified, the woman wrote to Majors, “I told them it was my fault for trying to grab your phone” and pointed out that she had told the police “it was not an attack”. The woman reportedly wrote, “Please let me know you are fine when you receive this. They assured me that you will not be charged. They said they had to arrest you as protocol when they saw my injuries and they knew we had a fight. I’m so angry that they did. And I’m sorry you’re in this position. Will make sure nothing happens about it. … I like you.”
Hours later, the woman reportedly wrote, “I know you have the best team and there’s nothing to worry about, I just want you to know that I’m doing everything I can for my end. I also said to tell the judge to know that the origin of the  the call had to do with my breakdown and fainting and your concern as a partner due to our previous communication. But for many who were in business with Majors, the text messages had the opposite effect and raised more questions than they answered about why the woman had passed out.
“It felt like a bad Lifetime movie. They basically look like text messages from an abused woman in textbooks,” says a person who works with Majors on an upcoming project.
In recent months, Majors had emerged as one of Hollywood’s most promising stars, with a string of high-profile and lucrative roles on the horizon. Now all eyes are on his future with the wonder Cinematic Universe, where he’s set to play the titular Kang in “Avengers: Kang Dynasty.” Majors is still attached to star in that movie, which is slated for release on May 2, 2025, and he’s set to hit a $20 million salary, including final compensation. He’s also been signed to star in “Avengers: Secret Wars,” which is slated to debut in 2026. Disney is monitoring the rapidly changing situation and has time to move deliberately.
The mega-budget “Avengers: Kang Dynasty” tent pole is set to begin production in the spring of next year. Disney is already deep in business with Majors, given that its specialty label Searchlight acquired the actor’s drama ‘Magazine Dreams,’ in which he plays a struggling bodybuilder, at the Sundance Film Festival and was set to host a robust Best Actor award. campaign later this year when the film is released on December 8. The majors have already filmed the second season of the Disney+ series “Loki”, which is expected to launch on the streaming platform in mid-2023.
Disney has the added wrinkle in that the alleged victim of the Manhattan incident also worked on this year’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” a film in which Majors was cast third as Kang the Conqueror.
A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.
Separately, Majors is leaving the board of the Gotham Film and Media Institute and his work with the Sidney Poitier Initiative, which was created to support emerging filmmakers. On Wednesday afternoon, Executive Director Jeffrey Sharp sent a memo to the Gotham Board of Directors alerting them to the move.
The industry has been rocked by news that Majors’ publicists The Lede Company and Management 360 had dropped their star client long before his first court appearance next month. At present, WME still represents the majors. In 2018, the agency established a so-called “Client Advisory Board”, which makes a recommendation on whether or not to drop a client accused of impropriety. The committee of about 20 staff members – split equally by gender and from a cross-section of divisions – assesses the viability of a client amid charges and considers factors such as whether the client has been charged criminal or civil suit. WME has already dropped clients such as Brett Ratner, Bryan Singer and Armie Hammer. The committee has yet to meet regarding the Majors based on the limited information available.
Still, following the actor’s March 26 arraignment on a complaint involving misdemeanor charges of assault and aggravated harassment, other red flags have begun to emerge. Broadway actor Tim Nicolai, who appeared alongside Rachel Weisz in the Public Theater’s production of “Plenty,” tweeted that day, “I already see a bunch of ‘why didn’t you do anything ?!’ People, people tried. In the end, a victim had to come forward. It’s both horrible to know that he’s still doing this and also a relief that he may not find again. Never again. A group of us are close to people (and sometimes multiple people) who they have directly hurt. I don’t know if they will talk about it. It’s entirely their decision.
When Variety reached out to Nicolai, he replied, “I stand by what I wrote. And I support his victims that I know, however they choose to move forward. (Nicolai says no one from the majors camp contacted him as a result of his tweets.)
A judge ordered Majors released on his own recognizance on March 25 with a limited protective order. In the weeks that followed, the actor, a Yale School of Drama alum whose recent credits include “Devotion,” “Da Five Bloods” and an Emmy-nominated role in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country“, was removed from several jobs, including “The Man in My Basement” from Protagonist Pictures. Valentino and Majors also “mutually agreed” that the actor will no longer be attending this year’s Met Gala.
In addition to his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the actor is also set to play NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman in the Lionsgate movie “48 Hours in Vegas.” With this project, the studio is closely monitoring developments before deciding whether or not to pursue the majors. Other projects in play include Spike Lee’s “Da Understudy” for Amazon. A studio source says Majors is still attached to star and produce alongside Will Smith, but the project hasn’t moved forward since it was announced in early March.
“I think the truth is that everyone is waiting to see what Marvel is going to do,” says an industry insider familiar with the situation. “That doesn’t mean everyone will do the same, but that’s what people are looking for.”
(Matt Donnelly and Adam B. Vary contributed to this report.)
NOTE: This story has been updated to include comment from Majors’ attorney.