'Jerry Maguire' star Cuba Gooding Jr. faces start of civil trial in rape case

Streaming HUBJune 6, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) – Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. began a civil trial Tuesday for raping a woman a decade ago at a New York City hotel and restaurant.

The trial was to begin with jury selection in Manhattan federal court as the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” star faces allegations he met the woman in Manhattan, persuaded her to join him at a hotel, and lured her to his room. I persuaded to stay. so that he can change clothes.

The woman, who has come forward anonymously but has been told she must reveal her name at trial, said in her lawsuit that Gooding raped her in his room. However, his lawyers insist that it was consensual sex and he later bragged to others that he had sex with a celebrity.

The lawsuit seeks $6 million in damages. It was filed against a man who authorities say has been accused of sexual misconduct against more than 30 other women, including groping, unwanted kissing and other inappropriate behavior.

Late last week, Judge Paul A. Crotty ruled that he would hear three women testify that they too were subjected to sudden sexual assault or attempted sexual assault after meeting Gooding at social settings such as festivals, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

One of the women who plans to testify at the trial is Kelsey Harbert, who told police Gooding groped her without her consent at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square in 2019.

Herbert said last year after Gooding pleaded guilty in New York state court that he was saved from prison or a criminal history that he never received, his day in court was “more depressing than words.”

The Associated Press typically does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they give permission, as Harbert has.

Gooding, a star in films including “Boyz n the Hood” and “Radio,” was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in April 2022 after admitting he forcibly kissed a worker at a New York nightclub in 2018. Was.

After staying out of trouble and completing six months of alcohol and behavioral counseling, Gooding was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and plead guilty to a non-criminal harassment violation, expunging his criminal record and preventing further penalties. was given.

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