Why was Cuba Gooding Jr. arrested? Surveillance video shows alleged groping incident

Cuba Gooding Jr. seen at a red carpet event
Cuba Gooding Jr. was arrested Thursday after an alleged groping incident in an NYC bar. Pic credit: Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Wire/Image Collect

Recent video surveillance footage shows the incident that led to actor Cuba Gooding Jr. being arrested. The star was taken into custody on Thursday after an alleged groping incident at a New York City bar. Now, details are emerging about what happened and what charges were pressed against Cuba Gooding.

Video: Gooding Jr. accused of groping a woman

A woman claims that Cuba Gooding Jr. groped her in NYC’s Magic Hour Rooftop Lounge this past Sunday evening. The alleged incident occurred while Gooding’s girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, was seated between him and the accuser, around 10:15 p.m. ET.

In the surveillance video below, the 29-year-old woman sits down next to the couple. Gooding Jr’s hand then reaches across his girlfriend and he seems to places his hand on the accuser’s thigh. He moves his hand higher up but the footage is pretty fuzzy.

In the video, another man also walks up and stands in front of the group and starts a conversation. He puts his hand on both Gooding and the accuser’s shoulders, then makes a gyrating movement with his hips.

Per TMZ, both Gooding and his girlfriend appear to “playfully paw” at the man’s crotch. The man also takes a drink away from Gooding and continues talking with him.

Another group of people walk up to Gooding and his wife to chat for a few minutes. The accuser is still seated with them at this time. The group all end up walking off including Gooding, his girlfriend, and the accuser. There’s no sign of any arguments or altercations.

In other footage, taken some 30 minutes later in the downstairs lounge, Gooding and De Niro are relaxing on a sofa when the accuser walks in and approaches one of the bar’s security team. She has a discussion with him and appears to say “Yes, he did.”

The security guard shakes his head. Right after, Cuba Gooding stands up and stumbles away, past the accuser. Then, his girlfriend and the security guard follow along.

Gooding Jr’s charges, attorney response

On Thursday, Cuba Gooding Jr was arrested. His charges included misdemeanor forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree. USA Today reports the misdemeanor charge can lead to up to one year in jail.

Gooding Jr’s attorney weighed in on the allegations and charges. He says based on seeing Cuba’s part in the video he saw “no criminality” there.

In the video below, he speaks about having just completed the surrendering process with Cuba. He adds that based on what he saw in the video, “there’s not a scintilla of criminal culpability that can be attributed to Cuba Gooding Jr.”

He mentions reviewing the entire surveillance video of nearly two hours.

Gooding Jr’s attorney said that the prosecution will bring a case against his client. The attorney also suggests the alleged accuser in his belief is someone trying to get “15 minutes of fame” or a “connection with a celebrity.”

He also says they’re hoping to show an example of “an innocent person charged with a crime they didn’t commit.”

The attorney adds that they hope the prosecution will take action against the woman for false accusations if that is proved to be the case.

TMZ also caught up with Gooding Jr. a few days after the incident happened this past Tuesday in Los Angeles. He told them the surveillance video footage would show everyone “what really happened, and that’s the most important thing.”

Cuba Gooding Jr. is an Oscar award-winning actor, known for his role in the movie Jerry Maguire. In the past several years, he’s appeared on TV’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.K. Simpson, American Horror Story Roanoke, and on stage in a 2018 production of the show Chicago.

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