2ND UPDATE, 5:11 PM: A Manhattan judge has rejected Cuba Gooding Jr.’s motion to dismiss the case against him, in which a woman claimed the Oscar winner groped her in a bar, and set a trial date. Judge Phyllis Chu ruled that conflicting accounts about what happened on June 9 at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge are grounds for a trial, which is set to begin September 9. Read details of the case below.
UPDATED, JUNE 26, 10:42 AM: A hearing on Wednesday in New York City on Cuba Gooding Jr.’s desire to have criminal charges of forcible touching dismissed saw further action pushed until July 17.
Although listening to the pitch from the Oscar winner’s attorneys following a filing Monday to toss the case, Judge Keshia Espinal proclaimed she would not make a ruling until August 14. In court protocol, that ruling would come after the Manhattan District Attorney’s office responds to the dismissal move in the next few weeks.
So, hurry up and wait.
PREVIOUSLY, JUNE 24 AM: Days after appearing in a New York court on misdemeanor charges of forcible touching of a woman at a nightclub, Cuba Gooding Jr is now seeking to have the case dismissed because of “certain mental characteristics” of his accuser.
“The Interests of Justice are SCREAMING OUT FOR THE EXONERATION OF CUBA GOODING, JR. and calling for a critical examination of this case and the Accuser whose personal blogs have included statements which 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 Claudine Deniro’s presence and give them privacy,” proclaims the Oscar winner’s lawyer Mark Keller in a Friday filing in NY criminal court (read it here).
The incident of Gooding supposedly grabbing the unidentified woman’s breast while at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in the Moxy Times Square hotel occurred late on June 9.
The Jerry Maguire star faces up to a year in jail if found guilty on the misdemeanor.
The office of NY County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had no comment on the dismissal motion when contacted by Deadline. However, despite video footage that displays some degree of interaction between the American Crime Story actor and the alleged victim, Gooding does have the sworn support of Robert De Niro’s daughter-in-law that he did nothing wrong that night.
“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 squeeze’ as is stated in the Criminal Complaint,” declares Raphael De Niro’s estranged spouse Claudine in a June 19 declaration that was submitted with Gooding’s motion late last week.
In this she-said-they-said, what we do know is that another individual has come forward and made similar accusations against Gooding groping her over a decade ago. We also know that the woman in question in the case currently before the courts almost immediately phoned 911 after this incident is alleged to have occurred.
The 1996 Best Supporting Actor winner turned himself into the NYPD’s Special Victim’s Unit on June 13 and was formally charged. Gooding has denied the claims since they became public last week.
A hearing on the motion to dismiss looks to be set for June 26 in Lower Manhattan.