Oscar-winning actor settles case with woman who claimed he raped her

todayAugust 13, 2023 4

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Oscar-winning actor settles case with woman who claimed he raped her

Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr has settled a case with a woman who claimed he raped her in a New York City hotel a decade ago, according to court records.

A civil trial had been about to begin with jury selection in a New York federal court.

However, minutes after jurors were to begin assembling in a courtroom, a calendar entry in the official court record said: “TRIAL OFF.”

It added: “Reason for cancellation (on consent): the parties have resolved the matter.”

The woman had proceeded anonymously until last week, when Judge Paul Crotty ruled that she would have to reveal her name at trial.

Gooding Jr, 55, had insisted through lawyers that his encounter with the woman was consensual after the two met at a nearby restaurant.

The actor, who won an Oscar for his role in the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, faced allegations that he met the woman in Manhattan, persuaded her to join him at a hotel, and convinced her to stop at his room so he could change clothing.

The woman alleged in her lawsuit that Gooding Jr then raped her in his room.

Gooding Jr’s lawyers insisted that it was consensual sex and that she bragged to others that she had sex with a celebrity.

The lawsuit sought $6m (£4.8m) in damages.

The authorities say Gooding Jr has been accused of committing sexual misconduct against more than 30 other women, including groping, unwanted kissing and other inappropriate behaviour.

Last week, the judge seemed to strengthen the woman’s hand at trial and in settlement negotiations by ruling that he would let three women give evidence that they were also allegedly subjected to sudden sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults after meeting Gooding Jr in social settings such as festivals, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

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Kelsey Harbert, centre, will testify in the civil trial which begins on Tuesday Pic: AP

Kelsey Harbert, centre, was due to testify in the civil trial. Pic: AP

One of the women who had planned to give evidence at the trial was Kelsey Harbert, who told police Gooding Jr fondled her without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square in 2019.

Ms Harbert said last year after Gooding Jr pleaded guilty in New York state court to a charge that spared him from jail or a criminal history that never getting her day in court was “more disappointing than words can say”.

Gooding Jr, a star in films including Boyz N The Hood and Radio, was permitted to plead guilty in April 2022 to a misdemeanour, admitting that he forcibly kissed a worker at a New York nightclub in 2018.

By staying out of trouble and completing six months of alcohol and behavioural counselling, Gooding Jr was permitted to withdraw his guilty plea and plead guilty to a non-criminal harassment violation, eliminating his criminal record and preventing further penalties.

Written by: Newsroom

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