Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads guilty to forcible touching

Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of forcibly touching a woman at a New York nightclub in 2018, part of a deal with prosecutors that spares the Oscar-winning actor an immediate prison sentence.

The guilty plea, in which Gooding also admitted in court to subjecting two other women to “non-consensual physical contact” in 2018 and 2019, came three years after his arrest, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said. in a press release.

Under the plea agreement, if Gooding, 54, continues to attend court-ordered counseling for six months, he can withdraw his misdemeanor plea and plead guilty to a lesser violation of harassment.

If he does not comply, he faces up to a year in prison.

The actor had been accused of raping three different women at various Manhattan nightspots in 2018 and 2019.

He pleaded guilty to the most serious count of forcibly kissing a woman at a nightclub in September 2018, a district attorney spokesman said.

“I apologize for ever making anyone feel inappropriately touched,” The New York Times quoted Gooding as saying in court during his guilty plea.

A representative and attorney for the actor could not immediately be reached for comment.

Gooding won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the 1996 romantic comedy “Jerry Maguire” as an unstable football player who becomes his sports agent’s only client, demanding that Tom Cruise “show me the money”.

Two decades later, Gooding portrayed OJ Simpson in the TV miniseries “The People v. OJ Simpson.”

Hours after the plea, a federal judge in Manhattan rejected Gooding’s bid to dismiss a $6 million civil lawsuit brought by a woman who said Gooding raped her twice in 2013 at the Mercer Hotel. in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.

U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty said the woman was quick to sue, waiting until 2020 to invoke a New York City law protecting victims of gender-based violence.

Gooding said a different law with a one-year statute of limitations should have applied. He denied the allegations of his accuser.

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