A server at a New York nightclub filed a lawsuit against Cuba Gooding Jr. this week accusing him of repeatedly touching her bottom without permission last year and ignoring her requests for him to stop.
Natasha Ashworth filed a suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday alleging that the 51-year-old actor said inappropriate things to her and tried to grope her buttocks numerous times while she served him during one of her shifts at the Tao Downtown Nightclub on Oct. 24 of last year, Page Six reports.
Gooding, she said, asked her during the interaction if she wanted to see his “impression” of a penis, and despite her saying no, she alleged that he then did it anyway, putting water into his mouth and then spitting it back out again.
She claimed the inappropriate behavior did not stop there; she alleged that Gooding found her at around 4:20 a.m., when her shift was ending, and used his right hand to pinch her right buttock, according to court documents obtained by Page Six.
When Ashworth responded to the unwanted touching by telling him, “Don’t touch my butt,” he then allegedly said, “Aw, that’s no fun,” and denied touching her bottom, claiming instead that he touched her back.
Gooding tried to touch her twice more, she alleged, but she was able to stop him. He then allegedly went to speak to a manager before trying to touch Ashworth again; she said once again rebuffed his advances, at which point Gooding reportedly said, “Oh, you don’t have to worry, because I am never coming back here again,” before leaving the club.
Ashworth’s suit alleges assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to Page Six. She is seeking a jury trial.
The “Jerry Maguire” actor was charged earlier this year with forcible touching and sex abuse in relation to claims that he groped a woman’s breasts at a Manhattan nightclub without her permission. He has maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty.
Gooding was hit additional charges last week of forcible touching and third-degree sex abuse, according to The New York Times. Those charges were in relation to Ashworth’s claims, although she had not publicly identified herself at that point, according to the outlet.
Gooding has entered a not guilty plea and is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 13, according to Variety.
Speaking to Page Six, Gooding’s lawyer, Mark Heller, categorized Ashworth’s claims as a “money grab” and claimed that surveillance footage proves that his client never grabbed Ashworth’s bottom.
“It is rumored she is an aspiring actress,” he told the outlet. “We welcome this baseless civil claim as a validation that the inspiration for her criminal accusation and this civil complaint is a money grab from Cuba, who previously declined to be shaken down by this individual.”
Ashworth’s lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment from Page Six.
Prosecutors have also alleged that there are a dozen other women who were allegedly subjected to Gooding’s sexual misconduct, and they may be called to testify during the actor’s trial, according to NBC New York. Those allegations reportedly stem from incidents that took place in various locations between 2001 to 2018, the outlet reports.
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