Actor Cuba Gooding Jr gets no jail time for sex harassment charges
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2022
Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr received no jail time on Thursday (October 13) after he pled guilty in April to a misdemeanor count of forcibly kissing a woman at a New York nightclub in 2018.
"There were three victims that resulted in six counts in an indictment," said Gooding's attorney Frank Rothman outside of Manhattan Supreme Court. "Charges relating to two out of the three were dismissed outright, and the third ended up in a plea to harassment as a violation. The district attorney's office dismissed all of the criminal charges. He does not end up with a criminal record at the end of this.” Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert told Judge Curtis Farber that Gooding has completed six months of court-ordered counseling and has stayed out of trouble, therefore dismissing all of the criminal charges. Farber sentenced Gooding to time served. The actor had been accused of violating three different women at various Manhattan night spots in 2018 and 2019. He pleaded guilty to the most serious count charging him with forcibly kissing a woman at a nightclub in September 2018. Gooding was previously charged with touching a woman’s breasts, later identified as Kelsey Harbert, at the Manhattan bar Magic Hour in 2019, and separately with pinching a woman’s buttocks at the TAO nightclub, also in Manhattan, in 2018.
Under the April plea agreement, if the 54-year-old Gooding continued to undergo alcohol and behavioral counseling, he could withdraw his misdemeanor plea and plead guilty to a lesser violation of harassment. The guilty plea, in which Gooding admitted in court to subjecting two other women to "non-consensual physical contact" in 2018 and 2019, came three years after he was arrested.
“I want him to be accountable for the consequences of his actions," said Harbert outside of the courthouse on Thursday. "But because of who he is, I am the one who will have to live with those consequences.” Gooding won the Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role in the 1996 romantic comedy "Jerry Maguire" as a volatile football player who becomes his sports agent's only client, demanding that Tom Cruise "show me the money". Two decades later, Gooding portrayed OJ Simpson in the television miniseries "The People v. OJ Simpson". "This month marks the five-year anniversary of what has been called the #MeToo movement because many women have been brave enough to come forward either to law enforcement or in civil cases or both," said Gloria Allred, attorney for Harbert. "There has been accountability and just consequences for many who violated the rights and the bodily integrity of women. I hope that others will not be deterred by what I consider to be an unjust outcome in this case." Reuters