Just because Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s popularity got a slight jolt from his performance as O.J. Simpson on FX’s The People v. OJ Simpson a few years back, that doesn’t mean his celebrity was big enough to let him act like a jerk.
Earlier this week, the Oscar-winning actor was arrested on a misdemeanor forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third-degree charge after being accused of rubbing up and violating a woman at a bar on Sunday night.
In a video obtained by TMZ, an inebriated Cuba Gooding Jr. can be seen touching the accuser on her thigh and breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop Lounge in New York City. This while he was sitting next to his girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, mind you.
Apparently, things only got weird from there.
Another man then walks over and stands in front of the group. He puts his hands on the shoulders of Gooding and the accuser, leans over and appears to be talking to the entire group.
Things get a little weird then … as the man gyrates, drawing attention to his crotch. It appears Gooding and his GF playfully paw at his crotch. The guy also takes a drink away from Gooding. A few more people join the group, and everyone’s casually chatting for a few more minutes. They all walk away — separately but in the same direction — about 3 minutes after the initial touching. There’s no argument.
However, about 30 minutes later … Cuba and Claudine were downstairs lounging on a couch and making out. A man, who we’re told works security for the bar, was standing next to the couch when the accuser approached him and started arguing.
We’ve blurred her face to protect her identity, but she appears to say, “Yes, he did.” She repeated that after the security guard shook his head. It’s unclear if Cuba heard their conversation, but he got up, stumbled and then walked right past the accuser and left.
Claudine and the security guard followed right behind him.
As we said, Cuba was booked for his disturbing behavior and after pleading not guilty to the charges walked out of court without bail. You’d think he’d leave well enough alone but PageSix is reporting that CGJ continued to act weird as he addressed reporters outside the courthouse.
“It’s been a long day,” the Bronx-born actor told hordes of reporters as he left Manhattan criminal court, minutes after being arraigned for allegedly groping a woman at a rooftop bar in Midtown.
Gooding said nothing, but nodded vigorously when asked whether he denied the charges of sexual abuse and forcible touching levied against him by prosecutors.
Pressed whether he had anything else to add, Gooding — who won an Oscar for playing a hot-shot athlete in “Jerry Maguire” — extended well wishes to a real-life sports star: retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
“Get well, Big Papi!” said Gooding, using the nickname of Ortiz, who was wounded in an attempted hit Sunday in his native Dominican Republic.
Well, that was random, to say the least.
Cuba Gooding Jr. is due back in court on June 26 to address the charge.