UNITED STATES NEWS

3 women who say Cuba Gooding Jr. sexually abused them can testify at sex assault trial, judge rules

Jun 2, 2023, 4:00 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Three women who claim Cuba Gooding Jr. sexually abused them — including one upset she never got her day in court when Gooding resolved criminal charges without trial or jail — can testify at a federal civil trial next week to support a woman’s claim that the actor raped her in 2013, a judge ruled Friday.

Judge Paul A. Crotty said the allegations by the women were relevant for a jury deciding if the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” star raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room after they met at a bar. He also ruled in a separate order that the plaintiff, identified only as Jane Doe in the lawsuit seeking $6 million in damages, must reveal her name at trial.

He said the claims by the three women who can testify “are sufficiently similar” to the claims at stake in the trial because “all involve sudden sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults” connected to Gooding and stemmed from the presence of the women and Gooding in social settings such as festivals, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

Lawyers for Gooding, a #MeToo defendant in multiple courts, have said Gooding had consensual sex with the woman who accused him of rape after they met in the VIP lounge of a Greenwich Village restaurant and she joined him at a nearby hotel bar, agreeing to proceed to his hotel room so the actor could change his clothing. The lawyers did not respond to an email request for comment Friday.

The three women include Kelsey Harbert, who said in tears after Gooding pleaded guilty last year that never getting her day in court was “more disappointing than words can say.”

Harbert told police Gooding fondled her without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square in 2019.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, as Harbert has done.

The judge disallowed the testimony of a fourth woman on the grounds that her proposed testimony that Gooding groped her breast without her consent in 2011 was so similar to Harbert’s expected testimony that it would be “needlessly cumulative” and would increase the chance of improper bias. The trial is scheduled to start Tuesday.

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

After staying out of trouble and completing six months of alcohol and behavioral counseling, Gooding was permitted to withdraw his guilty plea and instead pleaded guilty to a non-criminal harassment violation, eliminating his criminal record and preventing further penalties.

The deal was criticized by some of at least 30 women who prosecutors say have made sexual misconduct allegations against him, many citing encounters at New York City nightspots that resulted in groping, unwanted kissing and other inappropriate behavior.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents the plaintiff, declined to comment except to say that her client will be going forward with the trial on Tuesday.

Prospects for a settlement, which sometimes occur in civil cases on the eve of trial, seemed dim at a pretrial conference Thursday as trial attorneys were in such sharp disagreement that the judge warned in ruling Friday that “counsel will act with the utmost courtesy and professionalism towards one another and the Court going forward.”

United States News

FILE - Leaders take their seats for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council during the NATO summit in...

Associated Press

With words, deeds and arms deals, allies make the case for NATO in terms that would appeal to Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — European allies in NATO are stepping up their military spending, just as Donald Trump wanted. They’re pointing to common interests, such as concerns over China. They’re creating American jobs by buying U.S. weapons. In words, deeds and arms deals, leaders of the United States’ partners in NATO are making the case for […]

25 minutes ago

Associated Press

The UN condemns increasing gang violence and criminal activity in Haiti that is undermining peace

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning “in the strongest terms” the increasing gang violence and criminal activity in Haiti that is undermining peace, stability and security in the country and the region. Friday’s resolution expresses grave concern at illegal arms and ammunition flowing into Haiti and their link […]

6 hours ago

Actor Alec Baldwin reacts during his trial for involuntary manslaughter for the 2021 fatal shooting...

Associated Press

Inside the courtroom as case dismissed against Alec Baldwin in fatal shooting of cinematographer

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A nearly three-year legal saga for Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer ended Friday without a verdict but with tears of relief for the actor and a small coterie of family who had settled into a somber daily routine on wooden benches inside a windowless New Mexico […]

6 hours ago

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listens to a speech during the opening of the High-L...

Associated Press

UN chief urges funds for Palestinians, saying Israel is forcing Gazans ‘to move like human pinballs’

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief appealed for funding Friday for the beleaguered U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East, accusing Israel of issuing evacuation orders that force Palestinians “to move like human pinballs across a landscape of destruction and death.” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a donor’s […]

8 hours ago

Meals on Wheels employees take advantage of an assembly line to prepare bags of food for clients, F...

Associated Press

Houston community groups strain to keep feeding and cooling a city battered by repeat storms

HOUSTON (AP) — The deafening hum of a generator was a welcome noise Thursday evening at a Houston independent living center where several dozen seniors had lost power in the wake of Hurricane Beryl. Joe and Terri Hackl, who had pulled up with the backup electricity source after delivering hundreds of meals all day, estimate […]

9 hours ago

Twin sisters Jo and Joy Banner pose for a photograph in front of their business, Fee-Fo-Lay Café, ...

Associated Press

Historically Black Cancer Alley town splits over a planned grain terminal in Louisiana

WALLACE, La. (AP) — Sisters Jo and Dr. Joy Banner live just miles from where their ancestors were enslaved more than 200 years ago in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Their tidy Creole cottage cafe in the small, river-front town of Wallace lies yards away from property their great-grandparents bought more than a century […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

3 women who say Cuba Gooding Jr. sexually abused them can testify at sex assault trial, judge rules