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(Credit: Alamy)

Film

Cuba Gooding Jr pleads guilty to "forcibly" touching

Jerry Maguire star Cuba Gooding Jr. has publicly pleaded guilty to a single count of forcibly touching someone else, following three separate accusations of assault in 2018 and 2019.

The actor was arrested in 2019 after a 29-year-old woman claimed the actor groped her without any verbal consent at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Manhattan. The actor was caught on surveillance footage, exhibiting the actor Pearl Harbor placing his hand on her leg and chest.

“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 attorney, Peter Toumbekis, told CNN.

Two other women have come forward with similar claims, stating that the actor behaved inappropriately towards them. One of the claimants said the actor pinched her in an area of great intimacy and seclusion, while the second said the artist touched her at LAVO New York in 2018. The District Attorney issued a statement, feeling that the actor’s “prior acts demonstrate that his contacts with their intimate parts are intentional, not accidental and that he is not mistaken about their lack of consent.” Another woman has accused the actor of rape and has filed the suit in 2020, detailing her memories from 2013.

The actor has entered into a plea deal, which means he will avoid jail time, on the provision that he undergoes counselling, and then the charge will be reduced to a non-criminal violation. The actor addressed the court, and stated, “I apologise for ever making anybody feel inappropriately touched.”

Gooding Jr. won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his turn in Jerry Maguire. More recently, he featured in the Will Smith produced feature Life of a Year, working alongside Jaden Smith. The actor has not worked on a feature since his arrest in 2020.

The case continues.