Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded guilty to charges of forcible touching, culminating one of several cases involving accusations of sexual misconduct that have followed the actor since 2019.
Gooding had been accused by more than 20 women of sexual misconduct, according to the New York Times. He was charged criminally in 2019, at the height of the #MeToo movement to expose and hold accountable celebrities and other powerful people who had allegedly used their influence to commit sexual offenses against women.
Gooding had originally pleaded not guilty to charges that he had groped several women without permission in Manhattan nightclubs. The Manhattan District attorney argued that as many as 19 women who had come forward with similar allegations should be able to testify in a criminal trial, even though Gooding wasn’t formally charged with all of their accusations.
In court on Wednesday, Gooding offered an apology.
From the New York Times
Mr. Gooding appeared before the judge, Curtis Farber of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, to enter his plea.
“I apologize for ever making anybody feel inappropriately touched,” Mr. Gooding said in court.
Mr. Gooding was originally charged in connection with an encounter on the night of June 9, 2019, during a party at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar, an expensive lounge at the Moxy NYC Times Square hotel in Manhattan. The accuser said that Mr. Gooding placed his hand on her breast without her consent and squeezed, according to a criminal complaint.
He was later charged with pinching a woman’s bottom at a Manhattan nightclub in October 2018 and in a September 2018 incident at Lavo, an Italian restaurant on East 58th Street.
No word on his potential sentence. Gooding still faces a civil lawsuit in which he’s accused of raping a woman in 2013. He’s denied that accusation.