Actor Cuba Gooding Jr charged over groping claim

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NEW YORK, June 14, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Prosecutors in New York charged Oscar-
winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr with forcible touching on Thursday after he was
accused of groping a woman in a Manhattan bar over the weekend.

Gooding’s lawyer Mark Heller said his client intended to plead not guilty.

“Mr Gooding has not acted inappropriately in any shape or form. Nothing in
the video could even be considered ambiguous,” Heller said, without giving
details of the video he was referring to.

The actor had earlier denied the allegations, telling celebrity news outlet
TMZ that “nothing” happened.

“I trust the system. There’s a tape that shows what really happened,” he
said.

Forcible touching is a misdemeanor offense punishable by one year in prison
under New York state law.

A police spokesman confirmed that the 51-year-old Gooding — who won an
Academy Award in 1997 for his performance as a football player in “Jerry
Maguire” — had turned himself in, but would not comment on the nature of the
complaint.

Several US media outlets reported that a woman claimed Gooding, a native
New Yorker, grabbed her breast during a night out late Sunday.

Other reports indicate a second woman has come forward with claims that the
actor groped her buttocks in March 2008, also in a Manhattan club.

Gooding’s first major role came in the groundbreaking 1991 movie about life
in the inner city, “Boyz n the Hood.”

More recently, he played OJ Simpson in “The People vs OJ Simpson: American
Crime Story.”

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