Cuba Gooding Jr. was one of the biggest names in Hollywood. He appeared in a range of TV shows before landing his first major film role, starring as Tre Styles in John Singleton’s classic Boyz N the Hood.
The son of singers Shirley Sullivan and Cuba Gooding Sr., his career started as a breakdancer before pivoting to acting in the early 1980s. His career skyrocketed in the following decade. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing Rod Tidwell in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire. The film was a box office success, and Gooding’s performance was lauded by critics, landing him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
But despite his many career triumphs, his personal life has perhaps taken over the headlines. Now, the 54-year-old is just as known for his controversies as he is for starring in movies like Outbreak, Men of Honor and Radio.
Here are some of the controversies this New York-born actor is known for.
8/8 Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Multiple Misconduct Allegations
In June 2019, it was reported that Cuba Gooding Jr. was being investigated for allegedly groping a woman while drunk at a bar in New York City. Gooding was later arrested after turning himself into the NYPD.
In October of that same year, The New York Times reported that Gooding was being indicted on a separate sexual abuse charge. He has now been accused of groping and unwanted touching by more than 20 women, with three accusations leading to criminal charges.
7/8 Cuba Gooding Jr. Asked For Case To Be Thrown Out
Earlier this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. asked a U.S. judge to dismiss a $6 million civil lawsuit filed by a woman who accused the Oscar-winning actor of sexually assaulting her twice in 2013. He said she took too long to sue by waiting nearly seven years.
The woman, known in court papers by the pseudonym Jane Doe, sued Gooding in August 2020 for allegedly sexually assaulting her in August 2013 at a hotel room in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. She had met him in a Greenwich Village restaurant and lounge earlier that night.
“No exceptional circumstances forced her to wait,” Gooding’s lawyers said. “Plaintiff choosing to sue Mr. Gooding, Jr almost seven years later will not rectify any serious injustice; the opposite is true.”
Gooding has denied her claims.
6/8 Cuba Gooding Jr. Forcibly Kissed Waitress
The Oscar-winner pleaded guilty early this year to a misdemeanor charge of forcibly kissing a waitress in a nightclub in 2018. He had to continue counseling for six months and avoid any further arrests. Earlier this month it was announced he will not face any jail time after complying with the terms of a plea agreement in a forcible touching case,
In court, Cuba Gooding Jr. said, “I apologise for making anybody ever feel inappropriately touched… I am a celebrity figure. I come into contact with people. I never want them to feel slighted or uncomfortable in any way.”
5/8 Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Inappropriate Behavior In Rooftop Bar
Cuba Gooding Jr. was arrested in June 2019, after Kelsey Harbert told police the actor had groped her at a rooftop bar in Midtown. Dozens of other allegations against the actor poured in soon after.
“The message he got today is that because of who he is the rules are different for him,” Kelsey Harbert after he was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of harassment.
A victim impact statement said Gooding “saw minimal repercussions” while his victims dealt with the aftermath of his actions. “It appears to be a prosecutorial gift to a celebrity who is undeserving of such an outcome,” said Harbert’s attorney Gloria Allred.
4/8 CCTV Images Of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Behavior
In 2019, Cuba Gooding Jr. was charged in two additional cases as more women came forward to accuse him of abuse.
One change alleged he pinched a waitress’s buttocks after making a sexually suggestive remark to her at TAO Downtown. Another charge describes the actor forcibly touching a woman inappropriately at the LAVO New York nightclub. Both incidents took place in 2018.
Surveillance footage emerged in 2019 of one of the alleged groping incidents. The video does not show him clearly grabbing her buttocks but it does show him reaching out toward the rear of her body.
The TAO victim won a default judgment against Gooding in 2021 after he failed to respond to her lawsuit for over a year. This judgment will allow the victim to seek monetary damages.
Gooding Jr. pleaded guilty to the LAVO nightclub allegation. He had previously pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor counts and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
3/8 Older Incidents Involving Cuba Gooding Jr.
The recent charges have brought up old allegations against the actor. He has not been charged for these incidents but prosecutors think they still constitute misconduct
There was a 2001 incident at the W Hotel where he approached a woman he had never met and “rubbed his groin and pelvis against her buttocks while simultaneously grabbed her buttocks and breast with his hand.”
There was also a 2003 incident at the Yard House in Long Beach where he allegedly squeezed a woman’s buttocks. Also, a 2006 incident at Chi, where he approached a woman from behind and “bit her shoulder, on her bare back” twice, then “thrust his pelvis’ against her leg and ‘attempted to lift the bottom of her shirt up.”
In a 2007 incident at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, he “forcibly pulled” a woman towards him and “attempted to kiss her”. He then allegedly grabbed her buttocks and licked her face.
2/8 Cuba Gooding Jr. Forced To Quit Drinking
The actor was ordered to complete six months of alcohol and behavior modification counseling as part of a plea agreement in his forcible touching case.
Apparently, he quit drinking after his case. After his divorce, he became known for his raunchy parties. Months after splitting with high school sweetheart Sara Kupfer in April 2014, he was seen at the Chelsea club 1Oak. His table apparently dropped $12,000 on bottle service.
It was around this time, he gained a reputation for hanging out with young, scantily-clad women and making inappropriate advances on young servers.
1/8 Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Altercation With Sarah Paulson
Cuba Gooding Jr. was reprehended online in 2017 after images circulated of him online seemingly looking under Sarah Paulson’s skirt during a PaleyFest panel last month.
“I love the lady that is Sarah Paulson. We have a banter like brother and sister, which is how the spirit of that whole panel was.”
“Yet that image was taken out to represent some kind of sexual misconduct, and that wasn’t my intent,” he added about his American Horror Story: Roanoke co-star. “The first person, when I heard about the fervor, I called Sarah, I said, ‘I love you, I see you as my sister,’ and she said, ‘I feel the same way about you.’ And so I let it go.”
“I have two sons in college…and I say to them, ‘Guys, the internet, it’s a beast. It’s an information highway without regulation. Any image you put on there can be interpreted any way it wants to,” he said, referring the incident as “a very teachable moment.”