Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. to face new U.S. charges in groping case

Entertainment

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Actor Cuba Gooding Jr.’s trial on charges of groping a woman at a Manhattan bar was postponed Thursday as prosecutors revealed they had brought new charges against him in connection with another incident.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appears in New York State Criminal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S.., October 10, 2019. Alec Tabak/Pool via REUTERS

Gooding is expected to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday to enter a plea to the new charges, which are not yet public, according to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Gooding won a supporting actor Oscar in 1997 for “Jerry Maguire” and is known for his roles in films including “A Few Good Men” and “The Butler” and the television miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

He had been scheduled to go to trial on the original charges Thursday, but the additional charges mean the trial will be delayed. A new date has not yet been set.

Gooding’s lawyer, Mark Heller, said video from the bar where his client was accused of groping the woman “clearly shows that there was no groping or crime.”

“Clearly the prosecutor was not prepared to proceed to trial in this case,” he said.

Heller said he did not have any details about the new charges.

“I doubt it’s anything that’s credible,” he said.

Gooding, 51, was charged with one misdemeanor count of forcible touching in June after an unidentified woman said the actor had touched her breasts in a bar. He has denied the allegation.

Gooding, who is divorced, is one of dozens of men in politics, entertainment, sports and the business world who have been accused of sexual misconduct since allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein triggered the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein is to stand trial in New York later this year on charges of rape and assault involving two women. He has denied any non-consensual sex.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

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