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Actor Cuba Gooding Jr pleads guilty to forcibly touching a woman

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appears in a New York courtroom in 2020. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of forcible touching.
Alec Tabak
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. appears in a New York courtroom in 2020. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of forcible touching.

Three years after he was arrested, Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded guilty to forcibly touching a woman. He had been accused by several women of sexually groping them in various nightclubs and restaurants in 2018 and 2019.

In pleading guilty in one case, Gooding told the New York State Supreme Court judge he "kissed the waitress on the lips" without her consent. Gooding had previously pleaded not guilty.

The plea deal says he will be sentenced to get counseling but not to do jail time, according to the Associated Press. The report says he will be able to get his conviction reduced to a lesser violation if he complies with terms of the deal.

He pleaded guilty to allegations by one woman but the court had ruled that prosecutors could call two other women to testify against him. They were among 19 accusers that prosecutors said could talk about other alleged incidents. According to the AP, "his lawyers argued that overzealous prosecutors, caught up in the fervor of the #MeToo movement, are trying to turn 'commonplace gestures' or misunderstandings into crimes."

In addition to the criminal case, Gooding has been accused in a civil lawsuit of raping a woman in New York in 2013. In July, after Gooding didn't respond to the lawsuit, a judge issued a default judgment. The actor has hired an attorney to fight that allegation, according to the AP.

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As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition,, and
Barbara Campbell