Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s attorney is speaking out as new allegations are leveled against the actor.
In a statement to ET, Gooding’s lawyer, Mark Heller, says they understand there is a new accuser whose allegations were presented to a grand jury along with the first allegations against Gooding — and that they plan to ask the court to throw both cases out.
Earlier this month, the Manhattan District Attorney announced that Gooding had been indicted on another charge, though it’s been sealed until Tuesday when he will be arraigned for it. As ET previously reported, the Oscar winner was arrested and charged with forcible touching in June and turned himself into the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. Gooding is accused of groping a woman at a bar in New York City. He has maintained his innocence and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Heller tells ET that they believe the second case against Gooding is “even less credible than the first case,” and claims “after Cuba was arrested over 120 days ago, a rep of the second accuser thought to seek payment from Cuba and he declined to be shaken down. At that point, she moved forward to establish this second charge and it was presented to the grand jury.”
“We believe the prosecutor is trying to besmirch the reputation of Cuba, a beloved Bronx native, and trying to establish these charges, which will result in an outrage by the public by wasting time and resources and energy of the court that have no place in the criminal court system,” Heller says, adding that they plan to enter a plea of not guilty in court on Tuesday.
Gooding also appeared in court on Sept. 3, when his groping trial was postponed. In August, New York City judge Phyllis Chu rejected Gooding’s petition to dismiss the misdemeanour charges against him. According to the court documents obtained by ET at the time, Gooding did “not set forth compelling factors to warrant dismissal in the interest of justice” for his misdemeanour charges of forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree.
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