Cuba Gooding Jr.’s defense team has claimed in new court documents that his accuser has “certain mental characteristics” that make her more likely to lie about being assaulted.
The 51-year-old actor was accused of groping an unnamed woman at a Manhattan nightclub earlier this month, claims which he has denied. He has since pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges, and seems to be preparing to make his case against his accuser by attempting to use her own words against her.
Mark Jay Heller, a defense lawyer for Gooding, said in documents filed in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday that the woman’s blog posts “included statements which clearly reveal the metamorphism of a troubled mentality,” Page Six reports. He went on to say that such posts exemplify why “an individual with certain mental characteristics would be predisposed to make a false accusation against someone because, for example, they rejected her, or she was jealous of them or was envious of their fame,” the outlet continued.
The filing included excerpts of the accuser’s writing, which included discussions of mental health problems like anxiety and depression — diagnoses that she likened to her brain being “one big fat mess,” according to Page Six.
She reportedly wrote in one post that “being different always felt like I was begging to be rejected by a world that, it felt like, was always on the verge of kicking me off the cool kids’ table at any moment.”
“And, in a world of extensions and fake boobs, my short haircut paired with my moderate breast size makes me feel invisible,” she continued, according to documents obtained by the outlet. “Some people are scared of others and want nothing more to be invisible. I am not that type of person. I am starving to be seen.”
Heller’s filing calls for a “critical examination of this case,” the Post reports.
Gooding’s unnamed accuser — who is a student at New York University, according to The New York Times — called 911 early on the morning of June 10 to report that Gooding had allegedly touched her breast without her consent at the Magic Hour Bar & Lounge in Manhattan, TMZ reports.
Gooding surrendered to police on June 13 and was released later that day on his own recognizance. He intends to plead not guilty to the charges against him, CBS New York reports.
An unnamed law enforcement official told The Times that surveillance footage obtained from the bar support the woman’s story, but Gooding’s attorney has claimed that the video will exonerate the actor, telling the outlet that “there was not a scintilla of criminal culpability” in the footage.
Gooding is scheduled to return to court on June 26, according to The Times.
More accusations have come forth following news of the alleged groping incident. Comedian and blogger Claudia Oshry claimed earlier this month that Gooding sexually assaulted her at a night club when she was a senior in high school, but the actor denied as much via his lawyer.
“Mr. Gooding told me such an event never happened. He doesn’t know this individual,” Heller told People shortly after Oshry shared her #MeToo story.
Police have also confirmed to The Times that they are investigating a second, separate claim that Gooding groped someone else several years ago, but did not provide details.
Gooding, who rose to fame with notable roles in films like “Boyz n the Hood” and “Jerry Maguire,” most recently was praised for his portrayal of O.J. Simpson in the 2016 mini-series, “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”
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