Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. lost a groping lawsuit by default.
According to Page Six, Natasha Ashworth won the lawsuit against Gooding after he did not respond for a year. Ashworth filed the lawsuit in October 2019.
The outlet reports Gooding never hired an attorney or even submitted court records. Therefore, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch granted Ashworth’s request for a default judgment on the claims of assault and battery. She was denied a default “judgment on the claim of infliction of emotional distress citing redundancy,” according to Page Sex.
The case will go to trial to determine the damages.
Gooding’s criminal defense attorney Mark Heller stated “the claim is baseless and the judgment is worthless.”
Surveillance video footage showed that Cuba Gooding Jr. did make contact with the backside of Ashworth. The incident happened in October of 2018 at TAO nightclub in New York City, where she was a server.
In the security footage obtained by TMZ, two camera angles show the actor appearing to make contact with Ashworth’s behind. After the initial touch, Ashworth is bothered, and the two proceed to have a heated conversation. In court documents, Ashworth claims she told Gooding not to touch her butt, and added that he allegedly replied, “Aw, that’s no fun, and I didn’t, I touched your back.”
In the video, Gooding can be seen attempting to show her where he claims to have touched her. Prosecutors said in the indictment, however, that Ashworth clearly grabbed his arm before motioning him to leave her alone.
Ashworth claimed in court documents that the actor used his right hand to pinch her right buttock as he was walking past her.
Heller said in October of 2019, “This is a bogus butt grope claim. The video proves Cuba is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Gooding has also been criminally charged on six misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and forcible touching stemming from the allegations other accusers.
The actor has pleaded not guilty to all counts.