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Cuba Gooding Jr. Denies Sexually Assaulting Comedian When She Was Underage

Claudia Oshry claims that Gooding groped her at a nightclub when she was still a senior in high school.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Sexual Misconduct Allegations That Broke Open Hollywood

Cuba Gooding Jr. has denied groping a social media star when she still in high school, claims that she detailed in an explosive podcast episode last week.

Claudia Oshry, a 24-year-old blogger and comedian, shared her alleged #MeToo experience with Gooding during an episode of “The Morning Toast” podcast last week, People reports.

“I feel so weird about it because at the end of the day, I don’t know if I’ve ever considered myself a victim of sexual assault because I’m not, I would never compare myself to them,” she said. “But yes, when I was in high school — I was f—cking 16 years old — Cuba Gooding Jr. put his finger up my butt and I felt wild.”

“And now, it’s just become, like, a part of who I am. It’s a part of my story,” she added, according to the outlet.

Cuba Gooding Jr. and Claudia Oshry

Oshry said that she’s been talking about the experience, which she said happened when she was a senior in high school in 2012, for years, Entertainment Tonight reports.

“I was at a club called SL with a bunch of my friends. We were all at a table when I felt someone inappropriately touching me. I turn around and Cuba Gooding Jr. is there hysterically laughing,” she told the outlet, adding that she felt “mortified” and “genuinely confused” by what had happened.

Though she told her friends and family, she said that she never told authorities at the time because she was afraid of getting into trouble for using a fake ID to get into a club when she was underage.

Gooding’s lawyer Mark Heller denied that the incident ever took place via a brief statement to multiple outlets.

“Mr. Gooding told me such an event never happened. He doesn’t know this individual,” Heller told People.

Oshry said that she’s been talking about the alleged incident in her stand-up routine for years, according to Entertainment Tonight. She said that multiple people have reached out to her to share similar stories of uncomfortable interactions with the 51-year-old actor after hearing her story.

Gooding is currently embroiled in a legal battle regarding claims that he groped a different woman at a Manhattan nightclub earlier this month. He turned himself in to police on June 13 — one day after Oshry told her story in her podcast — to face charges of sexual abuse and forcible touching in the third degree.

An anonymous woman called 911 last week to report that Gooding had groped her breast without her consent during an interaction at the Magic Hour Bar & Lounge in Manhattan, TMZ reports.

An unnamed police official later told The New York Times that they were able to verify the woman’s claims by reviewing surveillance camera footage, which they say shows Gooding forcibly touching the woman, who is a student at New York University.

Gooding was arraigned and released on his own recognizance, and is scheduled to appear in court on June 26, according to The Times. His lawyer told the outlet that they’ve reviewed the tape in question and that “there was not a scintilla of criminal culpability.”

Gooding has maintained his innocence throughout the process, telling TMZ last week, “I trust the system and the process will speak for itself. There’s a tape that shows what really happened.”

Police have confirmed to The Times that they are also investigating a second groping claim regarding Gooding, but provided no details other than that the alleged incident took place several years ago.

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