Cuba Gooding Jr. strutted out of a New York courthouse late Thursday evening, his trademark smirk firmly in place, after pleading not guilty to misdemeanor sexual abuse.
However, this isn’t the first time Gooding has been called out for his behavior.
The incident in question allegedly took place at a Manhattan bar over the weekend. A 29-year-old woman claims that Gooding came up behind her and grabbed her breasts. She claims that the actor was “highly intoxicated” and that after he groped her, the resulting argument between them had to be broken up by security.
Afterward, Gooding was spotted in a torn shirt in the Moxy Hotel Times square, loudly (and badly) singing Journey karaoke. Social media posts from other patrons at the bar confirm that he was apparently in good spirits as he partied the night away.
After being charged over the groping incident, Gooding turned himself in on Thursday and was released without bail. He told reporters waiting outside the courthouse, “It’s been a long day.” He also used the moment to wish baseball player David Ortiz, who was shot on Sunday, a speedy recovery.
After news about the incident hit the internet, another woman came forward and claimed that over a decade ago Gooding did almost the same exact thing to her. However, since there is a 2-year statute of limitations on the misdemeanor charge, it’s too late for her to take legal action.
At the 2017 Golden Globes, 20 years after his Oscar win for Jerry McGuire and hot on the heels of his triumphant performance as O.J. Simpson in American Crime Story, Cuba Gooding Jr. seemed to be having the time of his life. Or possibly going on a drunken downward spiral.
During the after-party, Gooding bounced around the dance floor with an empty bucket of KFC chicken on his head. Was this the behavior of a veteran actor who just wanted to let off steam? Or were his over-the-top antics a symptom of a larger issue?
Multiple videos and social media posts over the years have captured Gooding’s non-stop party lifestyle. He was spotted doing a striptease in a Miami nightclub and forcibly kissing a woman on a crowded dance floor. Page SIx alleges that he hands out his hotel room key to attractive young women and gets “beyond frisky with girls.”
At PaleyFest 2017, during a panel for American Horror Story, Gooding decided to lift up the back of his costar Sarah Paulson’s dress and nearly caused her to flash the audience. The wrap dress was pulled open at the front, exposing her legs in a moment that was clearly embarrassing for her.
He claims that the incident was in the spirit of playful banter between the two actors. “[T]hat image was taken out [of context] to represent some kind of sexual misconduct, and that wasn’t my intent.”
It seems that then, as now, Gooding doesn’t feel he did anything wrong.