Cuba Gooding Jr. pleaded not guilty to an indictment that includes allegations from a new accuser in his New York City sexual misconduct case on Thursday.
Prosecutors at the 51-year-old actor’s arraignment said they have also heard from several more women who could testify that Gooding Jr. has had a habit of groping women over the years.
Gooding Jr.’s criminal case now includes allegations from three women, growing in recent weeks from the one allegation that led to his arrest in June.
According to an indictment released by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the latest charges stem from an alleged incident that took place on Sept. 9, 2019 at Lavo nightclub in Manhattan.
No more details about the alleged incident involving the American Horror Story actor have been released.
Gooding Jr.’s lawyer, Mark Heller, argued the indictment and accompanying paperwork didn’t specify any wrongdoing in the alleged encounter between his client and the accuser.
“We believe without question that the case is purely a case of malicious prosecution,” Heller said outside of the courthouse.
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“How is he going to defend himself if he has no itemization or detail about what he is said to have done?” Heller said.
The Jerry Maguire actor was previously charged with sexual misconduct after he was accused of touching a woman’s breasts at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Manhattan on June 9 and pinching a woman’s buttocks at the TAO nightclub, which is also in Manhattan, in October 2018.
Gooding Jr. pleaded not guilty to those charges on Oct. 15.
The Boyz n the Hood actor previously told TMZ he was at Magic Hour partying with friends. He said he didn’t touch anyone and once again referred to video footage.
“I trust the system and will let the process speak for itself,” Gooding Jr. said.
“All I have to say is #MeToo. I feel so weird about it because at the end of the day, I don’t know if I’ve ever considered myself a victim of sexual assault because I’m not — I would never compare myself to them,” the 24-year-old blogger said. “But yes, when I was in high school — I was f—ing 16 years old — Cuba Gooding Jr. put his finger up my butt, and I felt wild.”
Heller denied the allegations, saying: “Mr. Gooding told me such an event never happened. He doesn’t know this individual.”
Gooding Jr. was also involved in another alleged incident in New Orleans in 2012. In that case, a bartender claimed the actor was agitated with patrons who wanted photos with him and that he pushed her when she asked him to leave.
An arrest warrant was issued, but the bartender declined to press charges.
Gooding Jr. is due back in court on Jan. 22.
He has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. He is free on his own recognizance.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
—With files from the Associated Press