UPDATE: No wonder people in the entertainment industry are distancing themselves from Jonathan Majors. More alleged victims have come forward and are cooperating with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Variety reports. The DA’s office isn’t commenting, but Majors maintains his innocence.
“Jonathan Majors is innocent and has not abused anyone,” the actor’s criminal defense attorney, Priya Chaudhry, tells Yahoo Entertainment. “We have provided irrefutable evidence to the District Attorney that the charges are false. We are confident that he will be fully exonerated.”
It’s been more than three weeks since Jonathan Majors was arrested for an alleged domestic dispute, but the 33-year-old’s career is now starting take a hit. Majors, one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, was dropped by his manager and publicist on Monday, Yahoo can confirm. Considering the actor’s first court date is still weeks away, the timing seemingly signals more fallout to come, says one crisis PR expert.
“The relationships between a client and their agent and publicist are ones that needs to be built on honesty and trust, so this signals to me that the talent team has learned information that goes against their professional mission and will inhibit them from having a working relationship moving forward,” Ronn Torossian, founder & chairman of 5WPR, tells Yahoo.
Majors was arrested on March 25 for allegedly attacking a 30-year-old female. A lawyer for the Marvel star previously told Yahoo he “completely denies assaulting the woman” and said she expects her client will be cleared of assault and harassment charges. But it seems some in the industry don’t want to wait until May 8, when Majors is expected to appear in court, to find out.
Deadline reported on Tuesday that Majors has been axed from multiple projects. The actor was set to star and executive produce The Man in My Basement alongside Willem Dafoe, but has now been dropped. (Protagonist Pictures did not respond to Yahoo’s request for comment.) He’s also been cut from a Texas Rangers MLB ad campaign that was going to debut on Friday and is no longer in consideration to star in a Otis Redding, according to the same report.
2023 was shaping up to be quite the year for Majors. The Lovecraft Country scene-stealer starred in box office hits Creed III and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. He reprises his role as Kang the Conqueror in Disney+’s Loki season 2, which has already been shot. (His future in the MCU is unclear and a rep for Marvel did not return request for comment by Yahoo.) Plus, the Yale University grad is already generating Oscars buzz for his performance in Magazine Dreams, which blew audiences away at the Sundance Film Festival. Despite being one of Hollywood’s “it” actors, Torossian who has not worked with Majors, says that he likely faces an uphill battle amid his legal troubles.
“Jonathan Majors has had quite a promising career ahead of him thus far, but as a rising star who is not yet established, he has less industry credibility to fall back on to carry him through a situation of this nature,” he explains. “Partners like Marvel and other household names that were in contracts with him wouldn’t have been quick to comment initially, rather waiting for more of the legal process to play out. This dispute may not be a complete career killer for him, but depending on how these proceedings play out, he may never have the career many thought he was heading towards after this year.”
Deadline reports there are no conversations at Marvel about recasting Majors. Yahoo reached out to Majors’s agent at WME for comment, but did not receive a response. As of now, he’s still attached to two other buzzy projects. Majors is set to star as Dennis Rodman in 48 Hours in Vegas, a film about the NBA star’s impromptu trip to Las Vegas while playing for the Chicago Bulls. Yahoo reached out to a rep for Rodman, who is producing the project, but did not hear back. Majors is also signed on to Amazon Studios upcoming film Da Understudy, which is expected to be directed by Spike Lee. A rep for the studio did not respond when contacted by Yahoo.
Majors has kept a low profile amid the controversy. According to Page Six, he was supposed to attend the Met Gala on May 1, but will no longer celebrate fashion’s biggest night as a guest of Valentino. A source claimed Majors and the fashion house “mutually” came to that decision.
Torossian thinks it’s a good move for the actor to lay low and suggests he stays “off social media and out of the spotlight for the time being.” Depending on how the legal process unfolds, he believes the actor’s PR strategy may need to change.
“I would advise Jonathan to tell the truth if he hasn’t yet. That, along with a public apology to the woman involved, would be a good starting point. From there, we would establish a plan that can be shared on how he would be working to better himself, including domestic violence courses, anger management sessions—if appropriate, and working with foundations who help victims,” he shares.
Majors is expected to appear in a New York City courthouse on May 8.
“Jonathan Majors is completely innocent and is probably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows,” Chaudhry said after the incident. “We are quickly gathering and presenting evidence to the District Attorney with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently.”
Chaudhry added they have evidence including “video footage from the vehicle where this episode took place, witness testimony from the driver and others who both saw and heard the episode, and most importantly, two written statements from the woman recanting these allegations.”
[Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Wednesday, April 19 at 12:50 p.m. ET and was updated to include the Variety report.]