Photo Credit: Cuba Gooding, Jr./ Instagram
Cuba Gooding, Jr. was arraigned today in New York where he plead Not Guilty to a second charge of third degree sexual abuse coming from an October 2018 downtown Manhattan nightclub encounter. This is on top of the original misdemeanor charge of “forcible touching” he received stemming from a separate encounter with a woman this June on a Manhattan rooftop bar. He was released on his own recognizance with a December 13th hearing set to rule on whether a whopping 12 new accusers can be called by prosecutors to discuss whether he’s participated in a pattern of “prior bad acts.”
Now there is footage of Cuba Gooding, Jr. out there with his shirt on his head standing on tables well into his 40s acting up that are out there so in the court of public opinion, it seems very much possible. Wendy Williams, who has been working in celebrity news for 30 or so years and she says that she’s surprised there aren’t more allegations out there than what we’ve already seen. The current ones only go back to about 2001 but she believes there’s more much further back than that out there.
Gooding’s lawyers have described these accusations as “shakedown” attempts. “When this woman verbally confronted the defendant immediately after being pinched, defendant claimed he had only pinched her back,” according to a prosecution motion. “Earlier that night, the defendant had made a sexually suggestive remark to this same woman.” The accusations took place anywhere from restaurants in New York, California, Texas and New Mexico with claims of groping, squeezing, rubbing, biting, kissing, licking and grabbing genitals, without consent all being made.
Another of Gooding’s defense lawyers, Mark Heller said he’s “shocked, outraged and absolutely dumbfounded” by the developments in the case. Heller also claims that the second accuser approached Gooding after his arrest asking for money from him regarding the October 2018 event.
“There is one individual, over and above the initial complainant, that pressed a claim against Cuba after he was arrested,” Heller told USA TODAY. “He declined to be shaken down because the conduct (she alleges) did not constitute inappropriate action on his part.”
What a tangled web we weave. Wendy Williams stated today that she both expected Gooding to go to prison and that he’ll never work again because no studio would want to deal with him. She mentioned about the talks she’s had with her son regarding the #MeToo movement and that girls are learning to #MeToo even when it’s not the truth. She said she didn’t feel that the footage we saw of what happened on the Manhattan rooftop was him grabbing the woman’s breast in front of his girlfriend, but she does feel there are plenty of other accusations against him that will likely stick. We’ll see how all of this pans out but it looks like we have another instance of the behavior of male actors from years past coming back to haunt them. We’ll be reporting on updates of this as they come.