AceShowbiz - Cuba Gooding Jr. is maintaining his innocence despite turning himself into police on Thursday, June 13. The actor was formally charged with one count each of forcibly touching and sexual abuse in the third degree, both of which he pleaded not guilty to.
The 51-year-old seemed to be in good spirit while walking into the Special Victims Unit in Manhattan, looking confident in a navy blue suit. He later emerged from the building in handcuffs with several detectives escorting him, but he still flashed a smile to photographers. After being arraigned, he was released without bail. His next court date is set for June 26.
Cuba is accused of groping a woman's breast without her consent at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge on Sunday, June 9. Met at the Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday night, he denied the allegations, saying, "I trust the system, let the process speak for itself."
Speaking to reporters after his client's arrest, Cuba's attorney Mark Heller claimed the accuser must be upset after she was asked to leave the actor alone. "That individual must have been unhappy about being rebuffed, and apparently went and made this false complaint," Mark said, attributing the misdemeanour charge to "overzealous prosecution."
Cuba and his legal team also believe that there's a surveillance video that will exonerate him. "We asked the DA to review it because we believe these charges should not move forward," his attorney told E! News. "However the DA's office will neither confirm nor deny if they have in fact reviewed it. So, now we are turning him in as the charges still stand."
However, a surveillance video obtained by TMZ seems to show that "The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story" star indeed touched the thigh and breast of the woman accusing him of groping. The video shows Cuba and his girlfriend Claudine De Niro sitting on a couch at the bar when the woman joined them and sat next to Claudine at around 10:15 PM on Sunday.
Almost immediately, Cuba reached over Claudine and placed his hand on the accuser's left thigh. A few second later his hand moved up to her breast and the accuser put her hand on his, before Cuba pulled her hand to his mouth and kiss it.
A man then walked over and stood in front of the three. He put his hand on the shoulders of Cuba and the accuser, and leaned over to talk to the entire group. He also gyrated and Cuba playfully touched his crotch, but things remained civil before they all walked away separately.
In a separate video taken 30 minutes after the initial touching, the accuser was seen approaching a security who stood next to Cuba and his girlfriend, who were sitting on a couch, downstairs. The woman started arguing with the security, but didn't confront Cuba. The actor then walked away and left the room, with the security and his girlfriend following him. The woman walked to a nearby table, but stopped, seemingly to make a call or type something on her phone.