The release of US actor Cuba Gooding Jr., who escaped prison in trial for sexual harassment, sparked protests from women who accused him of harassment, unwanted kissing and other inappropriate behavior.
The Oscar-winning actor avoided arrest by complying with the terms of his parole deal, which led to him pleading guilty to charges related to only one of the allegations that prosecutors said concerned at least 30 women.
Many of these situations have occurred in New York City nightlife venues.
Colleen Palbert, the assistant attorney general in Manhattan, told the judge on Thursday that since the settlement was reached in April, Gooding has remained out of trouble and completed six months of alcohol and behavior counseling.
This allowed him to withdraw his plea of guilt for forcibly kissing a waitress at a Manhattan nightclub in 2018 and instead plead guilty to a non-criminal harassment violation.
The star of films like “Jerry Maguire”, “Boys in the Hood” and “Radio”, in this way, avoided further penalties and a criminal record.
Kelsey Herbert, a neuroscience student, said her accusation that Gooding touched her in a nightclub led to his arrest in 2019, but that this is not part of his guilty plea: “This settlement seems like a wrong move.”
“After three long years of trying to hold Mr. Gooding responsible for touching my breasts without my consent, my case being dropped in court is more disappointing than words can say,” added Kelsey Harbert, who sometimes cried during your statements in court.
The artist, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1997 for his role in Jerry Maguire, was first arrested in June 2019 after the incident in a Times Square bar, and was later released on bail.
Cuba Gooding Jr. was also accused of groping a waitress in a New York restaurant in October 2018 and “sexual intercourse without consent” in a nightclub, also in New York.
In a separate case, Cuba Gooding Jr. said. He was accused in a civil court of rape by an anonymous whistleblower, a crime for which he demanded six million dollars (about 5.5 million euros).
Gooding, along with other Hollywood heavyweights, has been condemned by the #MeToo movement, which emerged five years ago.
While Gooding was in court Thursday to settle his case, another Oscar-winning actor, Kevin Spacey, was being tried in the same building in a civil lawsuit accused of sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, former studio head Harvey Weinstein and “That 70’s Show” star Danny Masterson are being tried in separate rape cases.
Weinstein was convicted on similar charges in New York in 2020 and is serving a 23-year prison sentence.
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