Cuba Gooding Jr.’s lawyer Mark J. Heller claims that footage of the actor with a woman who accused him of improperly touching her proves his innocence.
Some disagree with Heller’s conclusion, saying it shows Gooding Jr. touching a woman improperly. The snippet was published by TMZ and appears to show Gooding Jr. at NYC’s Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge as he puts his hand on or near the woman’s leg and breast as Gooding’s girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, sat between them.
Heller told the Los Angeles Times: “He’s not alleged to have touched a leg. He was sitting with Claudine privately and this woman was literally stalking them, following them from place to place to place. Cuba is very, very polite, he would never rebuff a fan, but this woman literally sat almost on top of Claudine.”
Heller continued, telling the Times that Gooding is alleged to have squeezed her breast, but that he did not see any indication of that in the video. “There is not a scintilla of criminal conduct revealed on that tape,” Heller said.
Gooding has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges, including one count of forcible touching and one count of sexual abuse in the third degree, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan district attorney.
He is free on bail.