Cuba Gooding Jr. Claims Mental Instability Led Woman to Accuse Him of Groping
Cuba Gooding Jr. and his lawyers have submitted a motion in court to dismiss misdemeanor charges of forcible touching that were filed against the actor a few weeks ago. They claim that the accuser is mentally unstable and provided excerpts from her blog as proof.
Cuba Gooding Jr. is being accused of forcibly groping a woman in an alleged incident that took place at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Manhattan on June 9. However, the Oscar-winner actor has pleaded not guilty to the accusations.
REVEALING BLOG POSTS
Now, the star’s legal team is seeking to get the charges dismissed by claiming that the accuser, who remains unidentified, has a “trouble mentality” that could lead her to lie and accuse someone after feeling “rejected.”
Mark Heller, one of Gooding’s lawyers, said in the motion that after reviewing several posts on the accuser’s “blogs,” he believes the woman’s mental state led her to fabricate the story against Cuba Gooding after she was asked by the actor and his girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, to give them privacy.
Although the actor did touch the woman’s leg at some point, is not clear in the video if the alleged groping took place.
In the excerpts cited in the motion, the woman mentions she was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, depression, ADHD, and PSTD.
Heller says the posts "clearly reveal the metamorphism of a troubled mentality which sheds light on why she would make false allegations after being rejected and rebuffed that evening and asked to excuse herself from Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s and [his girlfriend] Claudine De Niro's presence and give them privacy.”
CUBA GOODING’S STATEMENT
Gooding Jr. said in a statement provided to TMZ that he is disappointed in the prosecution for moving on with the case without investigating the woman’s history.
“After reading and reviewing the motion to dismiss in the interest of justice, I was deeply surprised that the prosecutor’s office didn’t evaluate this woman’s history before undertaking to prosecute me in light of her warped mental state as revealed by her blog."
Gooding Jr. added that he remains hopeful and confident that justice will be served and the charges against him will be dismissed.
He says he trusts the system will protect an individual like himself who "has been wrongly accused without the benefit of the police doing their due diligence to ascertain if it was appropriate to drag me through the system based on such unsubstantiated claims."
OTHER FACTORS IN THE MOTION OF DISMISS
The motion to dismiss also points out the discrepancies in the accuser’s recounting of the alleged incident.
According to the reports, the woman called police at around 1 AM on June 10 and accused Gooding of groping her earlier, around 9 PM on June 9. She said she got in the actor’s face after the incident and security had to intervene.
However, video surveillance of the evening shows that the accuser didn’t interact with Cuba until around 10:14 PM. In the blurry video, Gooding is sitting with De Niro when the accuser approaches them.
De Niro was sitting in between Gooding and the other woman the whole time. And although the actor did touch the woman’s leg at some point, is not clear in the video if the alleged groping took place.
DE NIRO'S STATEMENT
Claudine De Niro, who is the estranged wife of Robert De Niro's son Raphael, provided an affidavit that was submitted alongside the motion claiming that nothing happened between Gooding and the accuser.
“I was attentive and engaged during the entire interaction with the Accuser and Mr. Gooding and at no time did Mr. Gooding touch the Accuser's breast and at no time did Mr. Gooding ‘place his hand on her breast and squeezed’ as is stated in the Criminal Complaint,” De Niro said.
Gooding is due back in court on Wednesday. If found guilty, he could spend up to one year in prison.
Meanwhile, according to police, a second woman has come forward alleging that Gooding Jr., 51, grabbed her butt after midnight on March 1, 2008, at a club in Manhattan.
Heller, the actor's lawyer, said that "Cuba says this incident never happened and he has no recollection of this individual either."
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