Cuba Gooding Jr.’s arrest on charges of forcible touching, and a number of sexual harassment accusations that have followed in its wake, haven’t apparently cramped his hard-living lifestyle.
The Oscar-winning actor was at the Bowery Hotel Monday night, according to Page Six, where he was overheard loudly telling a friend he was innocent—and joking about the circumstances surrounding the incident, in which he stands accused of touching a woman’s breast at a New York rooftop bar, the Magic Hour Bar & Lounge.
In a criminal complaint released by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, investigators said the accuser “observed the defendant place his hand on her breast and squeeze,” and that “she did not consent to the defendant touching her breast.”
Gooding has pleaded his innocence despite the fact that CCTV footage appeared to show him reaching for the woman.
Page Six says that when he was at the Bowery Hotel; “He was making jokes and asking his friend if there were security cameras.”
The Jerry Maguire star has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was, according to Page Six, overheard telling his friend that he would ultimately be vindicated.
“He said the woman fabricated the whole thing and that the truth would come out,” a spy told Page Six, “It was bizarre that he was in the main lounge of the hotel and he was talking about it.”
Page Six adds, “After several drinks and an order of fries, he and his friend were trying to find a place to go out after. He kept checking his phone because they were waiting for a friend, but he really wanted to go out.”
The public outing comes after a week in which Gooding has been accused of a further two incidents of sexual misconduct.
Another woman claimed to have also been groped by him over a decade ago, saying he grabbed her rear end in 2008 during a brief meeting at a restaurant in Manhattan, the New York Daily News reported.
Then Gooding was forced to deny an allegation by the comedian, blogger, and podcaster Claudia Oshry that he sexually assaulted her in a nightclub when she was 16.
Oshry says she has for several years incorporated in her standup routine her account of her encounter with Gooding: She says that when she was 16, she was in a nightclub and actor “put his finger up my butt” without her consent.
Oshry, now 24, discussed the experience as she recalls it on her podcast days after the 51-year-old pleaded not guilty.
“At the end of the day, I don’t know if I’ve ever considered myself to be a victim of sexual assault because I’m not,” Oshry said on her podcast.
“There are people who are real victims and I would never compare myself to them.“But yes, when I was in high school—I was fucking 16 years old—Cuba Gooding Jr. put his finger up my butt.”
Oshry said she didn’t “even know what the right word is” for how she felt at the time and revealed she didn’t go to the police because she was legally underage and was frightened she would get in trouble for being in the club.
Attorney Mark Heller said that Gooding’s appearance at the Bowery Hotel should be interpreted as a sign of his “confidence in the legal system” saying this had “freed him from the anxiety that usually causes defendants in his situation to recoil from society … Mr. Gooding continues to appropriately interact and socialize as he normally does.”