Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. may be planning to turn himself in to the authorities amid claims that he groped a woman at a nightclub over the weekend. However, after previously announcing those plans, his lawyer Mark Heller is no longer so sure, TMZ reported Wednesday — amid reports that a second woman has come forward with allegations of her own.
Gooding, 51, is alleged to have groped a woman at the Magic Hour Bar & Lounge in Manhattan on Sunday, with TMZ reporting that the unnamed victim called 911 hours later to report the alleged nonconsensual touching. Though Gooding has denied having groped anyone, his lawyer Mark Heller said Wednesday that the actor would be turning himself in to authorities on Thursday, CBS News reports. After reporting to detectives in the New York Police Department’s special victims unit, he would then appear in court for his arraignment, Heller said.
Seemingly complicating matters is the existence of surveillance video from the bar, according to TMZ. Heller said that he had not heard back after reaching out to the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office about whether their office has seen the video. While Heller told the outlet that the video shows “absolutely no criminality taking place on the part of my client,” he also said that, in light of the footage, it still remains to be seen if Gooding actually will surrender to police.
The unnamed 30-year-old woman told authorities that Gooding was “highly intoxicated” when he grabbed her breast, and that the unwanted touching resulted in an argument with the actor that got heated enough that security was forced to step in, Page Six reports.
Gooding denied groping anyone during a brief interview with TMZ, telling the outlet, “I trust the system and the process will speak for itself. There’s a tape that shows what really happened. That’s the most important thing — let’s not take away from that.”
He may be facing a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching, the New York Daily News reports.
Additionally, a second woman has since come forward with allegations of inappropriate touching involving Gooding, the outlet reports. The woman, whose name has been kept confidential, told police that Gooding groped her buttocks when she met him at the Butter Restaurant in Midtown New York, according to the Daily News. The date of the alleged incident has not been disclosed.
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