AceShowbiz - Prosecutors have rejected Cuba Gooding Jr.'s attempt to have a groping charge dropped on the grounds that the alleged victim is mentally unstable.
The "Jerry Maguire" star pleaded not guilty to misdemeanour charges of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree following an incident at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in New York last month (June 2019). He is accused of grabbing a woman's breast without her consent, while his girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, was present.
His lawyers had attempted to get the charge dropped on the grounds that his accuser showed mental instability in social media posts, but prosecutors rejected this defence on Wednesday (July 17).
"Notably, none of these statements bear any relation to the facts of this case or to defendant's guilt or innocence," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jenna Long argued in court papers, obtained by the New York Post's Page Six gossip column. "They were simply inflammatory comments used to embarrass and humiliate the complainant."
The star's legal team trawled through her social media and found posts in which she wrote her "brain was one big fat mess" and was "starving to be seen."
However, prosecutors argue her credibility is for a jury to determine as they had no bearing on events inside the bar.
Cuba, 51, was arrested after his 30-year-old accuser claimed he grabbed her breast as Claudine sat between them at the New York nightspot.
Grainy surveillance video appears to show the Oscar-winner reach over towards the woman's chest then take her hand to kiss it. He has denied her allegations and several witnesses - including his girlfriend, the estranged wife of Robert De Niro's son Raphael, have backed his version of events.
If convicted of the charges, the star faces up to a year behind bars, in addition to three years of probation and a $1,000 (£810) fine.