Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Lawyer Claims Rape Accuser “Bragged” About Having Sex With Him
An attorney for Cuba Gooding Jr. claims the sex his client had with a rape accuser was consensual and that the alleged victim “bragged” about the encounter to witnesses.
On Monday (Feb. 27), Gooding’s attorney, Gary Becker, informed US District Court Judge Paul A. Crotty that the defense would be presenting three witnesses to testify on Gooding Jr.’s behalf, all of whom will testify that the alleged victim, identified as Jane Doe, had bragged about bedding the Oscar-winner. The witnesses include two owners of the bar where Gooding initially met the accuser prior to the alleged attack, as well as a bartender.
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One of the alleged victim’s attorneys, Casey Wolnowski, has said that he’s aware of the defense’s witnesses, but “vehemently denies their views on what transpired.” Wolnowski told Insider that he’s “confident the jury is going to give” the accuser’s own account of the incident “the weight it deserves.” Following the hearing, which took place in Manhattan Federal Court, Ed Sapone, Becker’s co-counsel, shared that Gooding Jr. is confident he’ll emerge victorious when all of the evidence is laid out. “[He] has a lot of faith in the civil justice system and can’t wait for his day in court,” Sapone said.
In 2020, Gooding Jr.’s rape accuser filed a lawsuit against the actor, claiming that he sexually assaulted her in 2013 in his room at The Mercer Hotel in Manhattan. According to the victim, after meeting at the hotel bar, the pair went up to Gooding Jr.’s room, where he sexually assaulted her two times despite being told “no” repeatedly. Judge Crotty hinted that a trial date could be set for the first week of June 2023.
The acclaimed thespian has found himself embroiled in allegations of sexual misconduct in recent years, including being arrested and booked in 2019 on suspicion of groping a woman at a Times Square bar. Two other accusers would come forward in that case with similar claims against Gooding Jr. In addition, prosecutors say that by August 2020, more than 30 women had accused Gooding Jr. of touching them inappropriately. In 2022, he pleaded guilty to harassment in a deal that allowed him to avoid jail time.
“I apologize for making anybody ever feel inappropriately touched … I am a celebrity figure. I come into contact with people. I never want them to feel slighted or uncomfortable in any way,” he said at the time of entering the plea.
In 2022, Gooding Jr. was ordered to pay a victim from the criminal case $80,000 in damages after she won the lawsuit she’d filed against him in 2020. The woman, Natasha Ashworth, won by default due to Gooding Jr.’s failure to respond to the suit after nearly two years.