Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded guilty on one count of forcibly touching a woman in a New York nightclub.
In court on Wednesday (April 13), the actor admitted he “kissed the waitress on the lips” without consent at the LAVO New York nightclub in 2018. Gooding Jr. has been accused of violating three different women at various clubs in Manhattan in 2018 and 2019, but has only pleaded guilty to one of the allegations.
As part of his plea deal, Gooding Jr. avoids jail time but he must continue with alcohol and behaviour counseling he began in 2019 for six months without any arrests. If that happens, he can withdraw the misdemeanor charge and instead plead guilty to a lesser violation of harassment.
Speaking to the court, Gooding Jr. said: “I apologise for making anybody ever feel inappropriately touched.
“I never want them to feel slighted or uncomfortable in any way.”
Gooding Jr. was arrested in June 2019 following an incident at a Manhattan nightclub, where a 29-year-old woman accused him of squeezing her breast without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York.
Following the incident, two more women came forward with allegations of inappropriate touching. The actor was accused of pinching a server’s buttocks after making a sexually suggestive remark to her at TAO Downtown and forcibly touching a woman inappropriately at the LAVO nightclub in 2018.
Gooding Jr. previously pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor counts and denied all other allegations. His lawyers argued that the allegations were trying to turn “commonplace gestures” or misunderstandings into crimes.
According to The New York Times, more than 20 women have come forward to accuse the actor of groping or forcibly touching in incidents spanning the past two decades.
In a separate case from August 2020, Gooding Jr. is facing a civil lawsuit from a woman who has accused him of raping her twice in 2013 in a New York city hotel room. He has denied the accusations.