Cuba Gooding Jr. on Wednesday pleaded guilty to forcibly touching a woman in a New York City nightclub years ago.
The 54-year-old actor, who won Best Supporting Actor in 1997 Oscars for his role in Jerry Maguire, was charged in 2019 with one misdemeanor count of forcible touching after a woman accused him of groping her. The Associated Press reported that a 29-year-old woman had told police that Gooding, who was drunk, grabbed her breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge.
Mark Heller, Gooding’s lawyer at the time, told reporters in 2019 he was “shocked and horrified that this case is being prosecuted,” accusing the woman of trying to get her “15 minutes of fame.”
Months after his 2019 arrest, Gooding was charged in two additional cases regarding incidents that allegedly occurred in 2018. One woman accused the actor of pinching her buttocks after making a sexually suggestive remark at Tao Downtown in New York City. Another woman accused the actor of forcibly touching her inappropriately at Lavo Nightclub.
"Today, two of the three cases were dismissed, and as for the third case, Cuba Gooding Jr. entered into a re-pleader today whereby in six months his case will be disposed of with a violation, which is not a crime, resulting in no criminal record," Gooding's lawyer, Peter Toumbekis told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
Prior to the plea agreement, the judge in the case had ruled that if Gooding went to trial, prosecutors could call two other women to testify about their allegations, potentially showing a pattern of abusive behavior. When Gooding accepted the plea deal in court on Wednesday, the judge reversed this earlier decision.
More than a dozen women have accused Gooding of sexual misconduct dating back decades.