Gooding, 54, was arrested in 2019 after a 29-year-old woman said he had groped her breast without consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Manhattan. Surveillance footage captured the incident, showing him putting his hand on her leg and chest. Another video clip saw her confronting him about it, which led to security intervening.
Following that incident, two more women came forward with allegations of unwanted contact. One, a server at TAO Downtown, said that in 2018 he pinched her buttocks at the club. Another alleged that he forcibly and inappropriately touched her that same year at LAVO New York. He was charged for both incidents.
According to the district attorney’s office, Gooding’s “prior acts demonstrate that his contacts with their intimate parts are intentional, not accidental, and that he is not mistaken about their lack of consent.”
As part of the plea deal, Gooding will avoid jail time, and if he continues to undergo counseling the charge will be reduced to a non-criminal violation. Addressing the court on Wednesday, Gooding said, “I apologize for ever making anybody feel inappropriately touched.”
Gooding is also facing a lawsuit filed in August 2020 from a woman who said he raped her in 2013.
Gooding won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Jerry Maguire, and his last major role came as O.J. Simpson in 2016’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. Since his arrest, his only film appearance has been 2020’s Life of a Year, which starred Jaden Smith and was produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.