In June 2019, Cuba Gooding, Jr. was at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in New York City where he encountered a woman who claimed he grabbed her breast without her consent. The woman filed a criminal charge and Gooding turned himself in to the police but was later released on his own recognizance.
In October, Gooding returned to Manhattan to appear in court to plead not guilty to the charge from June and additional charges from another incident that was alleged to have happened in October 2018. In that incident, a woman claims that the famous “Jerry Maguire” star made sexually explicit remarks to her at another New York nightclub and later in the night pinched her buttocks. In all, Gooding was charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of forcible touching.
Gooding's attorney, Mark Jay Heller, later said, “We are shocked, outraged and absolutely dumbfounded that the district attorney's office wasted the taxpayer's money, resources and time in charging Cuba with these two incredulous cases." Heller also maintained that Gooding engaged in no criminal conduct.
But court documents show that Gooding is also accused of groping 12 other women in incidents going back to 2001. These incidents are alleged to have happened at various nightclubs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York City. Gooding has not been charged in those incidents, but a New York prosecutor stated that the 12 accusers could testify in Gooding's criminal trial.
In response to the 12 women's accusations, Heller stated,
Cuba denies all of these allegations. This is a typical scenario in which random people come out of the woodwork to accuse a celebrity who has already been charged. They have no credibility because Cuba was not charged with any of those allegations.
Gooding's camp has alleged that some of these other accusers have only stepped forward with their stories to shake the actor down. Gooding has been acting in movies since his breakthrough appearance in Boyz n the Hood in 1991, and it is estimated his net worth is $24 million.
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Whether this is all an issue of the “Me, Too” movement where women feel empowered to come forward with their stories of experiencing sexual misconduct by someone rich or famous or whether the accusations are simply made-up stories by people who want attention in a shocking scandal, it remains to be seen.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in the Los Angeles area, including sexual assault, you have the right to defend yourself against outrageous charges and an experienced firm like Sigal Law Group can help. Call 818-325-0570 or fill out our contact form today.