Cuba Gooding Jr. Faces Sexual Misconduct Allegations From At Least 14 Women
|thenorthstar||Oct 18, 2019|
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is accused of groping, kissing, pinching, or biting at least 14 women in bars and clubs. Gooding pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor counts of forcible touching and third degree sexual abuse on October 15 at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Gooding, 51, was previously charged with grabbing a woman’s breast at the Magic House Rooftop Bar in Manhattan on June 9, Variety reported. A grand jury indicted the actor on two charges related to the incident, as well as two charges from a second incident, during which he reportedly pinched a woman’s buttocks at TAO nightclub on October 24, 2018.
Court documents allege Gooding pinched the woman, and when she confronted him, he claimed to have pinched her on the back. Prosecutors said Gooding had made a sexually suggestive remark to the same woman earlier that night.
Mark J. Heller, Gooding’s defense attorney, said that after viewing security footage from the incident, he saw no criminal conduct. “I know the video, which covered the entire evening, shows absolutely no conduct or any inappropriateness on Cuba’s part,” Heller told People. “And I am frankly shocked the prosecutor would consider a case like this.”
Prosecutors plan to have 12 other women testify to support the allegations. These witnesses claim that Gooding groped them, bit them, or grinded against them in incidents as far back as 2001.
Many of the instances took place in bars across several cities, including Dallas, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles.
One of the allegations revealed in court documents claims Gooding reached under a woman’s skirt to touch her vagina over her underwear at Cafe Habana in Malibu. Two other allegations involve instances where he reportedly bit women on their shoulders and thrusted his pelvis against them.
In 2006, Gooding allegedly approached a woman from behind at Chi in Hollywood and bit her shoulder. He shrugged when she confronted him about it and then did it again when she turned around. The woman claims he then attempted to pull her shirt up and thrust himself on her leg. He stopped when a companion pulled him away, Variety reported.
Prosecutors hope to use the womens’ accounts to show Gooding has proven a pattern of inappropriate sexual behavior.
“His prior acts demonstrate that his contacts with their intimate parts are intentional, not accidental, and that he is not mistaken about their lack of consent,” assistant district attorney Jenna Long wrote in court documents.
Three additional women recently came forward to accuse Gooding of sexual misconduct. Those allegations are being investigated and have not brought on new charges against the actor, People reported. Heller told the magazine the new claims are not “credible.”
“Reportedly, there have been three additional ladies claiming sexual misconduct on Cuba’s part, one going as far back as 2008,” Heller said in a statement on October 14. “None of those is credible. They certainly won’t be incorporated into the indictment for which we’ll appear in court tomorrow.”
He added: “There is no proof of any criminal conduct on Cuba’s part.”
Gooding is one of dozens of high profile men who have been accused of sexual misconduct during the #MeToo era, including Bill Cosby and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania prosecutors used the same strategy the Manhattan district attorney’s office is pursuing in Gooding’s case during the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby, The New York Times reported. The judge in Cosby’s case allowed five women to testify about their encounters with the comedian. Cosby was convicted and sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison.
Manhattan prosecutors also hope to have additional women testify about Weinstein’s “prior bad acts.” Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually assaulted three women. Allegations against the film producer helped trigger the #MeToo movement, a reckoning over sexual assault around the world. Weinstein is set to face trial in January.
Gooding was released without bail and is due back in court on December 13, according to Variety. The actor gained fame after starring as the lead of Boyz N The Hood in 1991. He went on to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Jerry Maguire in 1997.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.