Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded guilty to one count of forcible touching, after being accused by three women of groping them in 2018 and 2019. Per Deadline, the actor made the decision on Wednesday in the Manhattan Supreme Court as a plea deal to avoid serving time in prison.
As previously reported, the initial allegation of forcible touching came in 2019, when a woman accused Gooding of groping her at a bar. At the time, the actor denied the accusation, placing the blame on the woman’s alleged mental instability. Then, an additional charge came from a different woman alleging a similar incident. Soon after, twelve other women testified that the actor touched them inappropriately. He wasn’t charged for all incidents; just the initial one and two of the additional cases. Gooding Jr. still pleaded not guilty, but then seven more women came forward with allegations.
At the time, Gooding’s lawyer denied the claims, saying, “The spurious, uncharged allegations offered by the District Attorney’s Office are so ancient and outdated and lacking in details and impairs the Defendant from defending against them; thus, it demonstrates that the District Attorney’s Office’s motive in introducing these inflammatory, uncharged allegations is not for any probative value, but to merely gain an advantage against the Defendant and prejudice the Jury against the Defendant.”
This news also comes three months after Gooding asked a judge to dismiss a separate $6 million lawsuit from a woman alleging the actor raped her twice in 2013. Per Reuters, the woman sued him in August 2020, claiming Gooding raped her in a hotel room in SoHo after meeting at a restaurant.
At the time, Gooding’s lawyers said that the woman’s attempt at invoking the statute of limitations under a New York City law protecting survivors of “gender-motivated violence violated Gooding’s due process rights under the U.S. and New York state constitutions.”