The arrest came during a domestic dispute between him and his ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari, in which they engaged in a fight in a car after returning home from a night out in Brooklyn, N.Y, and resulted in Grace’s fingers being fractured.
Jonathan’s public arrest led to a trial in New York, where he was found guilty of misdemeanor assault and harassment. It’s essential to note Jonathan maintains his innocence despite evidence of Grace’s injuries.
On Dec. 13, 2023, an audio clip surfaced of Jonathan scolding Grace for not behaving like two prominent Black women — Michelle Obama and Coretta Scott King. Jonathan also compared the latter woman, Coretta, to his current girlfriend, actor Meagan Good.
During his first interview regarding his trial and verdict, Jonathan shared with Good Morning America that Meagan held him down as Coretta did for her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. No, really. While discussing Meagan’s support, Jonathan said, “She’s an angel. She’s held me down like... a Coretta.”
Jonathan’s frequent comparisons of the women in his life to Coretta have become two too many. I think it’s time for the actor to leave Coretta out of his current state of affairs. Or, if he must mention her name, at least list her other accomplishments outside of being Martin’s “rib.”
Jonathan Majors’ constant references to Coretta Scott King must stop.
Jonathan’s remark about Meagan being “his Coretta” became meme fodder almost immediately after he said it on GMA. Across multiple social media channels, including X, formerly Twitter, Jonathan’s interview caused a stir among many people who recalled him telling Grace to behave the same way Meagan seemingly does.
While Jonathan became one of the more notable celebrities who has name-dropped Coretta, who passed away in 2006, he’s certainly not the first. As Revolt TV reminded us in January 2024, several rappers, including Jeezy, Logic, and Killer Mike, have shared their desires to “wife” a woman like Coretta, stating she’s their ultimate blueprint.
The common notion that Coretta, who married Martin in 1953 and had four children with the Civil Rights leader, is the one women should aspire to shows some men’s yearning for a woman who will remain by their side no matter his errors.
In photos and recordings of Coretta and Martin, she’s often seen next to her husband and rarely speaks as she watches him deliver speeches documenting his hope for change. Coretta and Martin’s relationship has since been a pillar in the Black community, though it’s not an accurate representation of the current times.
As a woman during the Civil Rights era, Coretta lacked few choices but to stand beside Martin, regardless of her inner feelings about his work. And though there have been many allegations surrounding Martin’s fidelity towards his wife before he died in 1968, there’s no evidence that Coretta was in the same predicament as Meagan or Grace.
Coretta Scott King was also more than Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife.
Although I know Coretta holds a special place in the minds of men, particularly Black men, I hope we can all change the narrative of who she was before, during, and after MLK’s death.
Too often, when people reference Mrs. King, it’s to acknowledge how she quietly helped her husband make change in an era where Black people were even more oppressed and full of despair than today. While this is true, it’s disrespectful to chalk her legacy up to only being a wife, mother, and homemaker at the time.
Many need to realize that Coretta was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. As a singer, a significant part of her work was orchestrating concerts and recitals across the South to share her knowledge of the movement.
Coretta was also a strong advocate for social change and, according to her biography on The King Center’s website, “tirelessly carried the message of nonviolence and the dream of the Beloved Community to almost every corner of our nation and globe.” She achieved this by leading goodwill missions and meetings with global leaders such as Nelson Mandela.
Coretta also championed LGBTQ+ rights by inviting the National LGBTQ+ Task Force to the 40th anniversary of The March on Washington. The move was something few people with her religious background and notoriety in the early 2000s.
Like many women, Coretta’s passions stretched beyond being a man’s sounding board, though that’s not to say she didn’t enjoy being a wife and mother. However, men like Jonathan only saw her for her one role and not as one of the driving forces of the Civil Rights Movement due to who she married.
Rather than begging women in 2024 and beyond to follow the same notion, I hope men (and women who ascribe to this particular toxic belief system) apply themselves to be the “Martin” or “Barack Obama” these women married. Two men who helped make real change in society. If you can’t do that, at least let Coretta and Martin rest, I beg!