A woman accusing Cuba Gooding Jr. of groping her at a New York City nightclub has reportedly won a default judgement against the actor after he failed to respond to the complaint for over a year.
Natasha Ashworth sued the actor in October 2019 over claims that he repeatedly tried to grope her butt while she was working as his server at Tao Downtown Nightclub in 2018. Gooding has denied the allegations, but because he failed to respond to the lawsuit for over a year, Ashworth requested in January that the court grant her a default judgement against him, Page Six reported Thursday. The actor seems to have never even hired a civil attorney to defend himself, as court records show that no papers have been filed on his behalf, and a lawyer has not been listed to represent him in the case, according to the outlet.
On Wednesday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch granted Ashworth’s request for a default judgement against Gooding regarding her claims of assault and battery, but denied default judgement on her allegations of emotional distress because of redundancy, according to Page Six. The case will now be set for trial to determine what damages Ashworth should be awarded. The actor’s criminal defense attorney Mark Heller said that Ashworth’s “claim is baseless and the judgment is worthless.”
Gooding has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 30 women, according to Page Six, and has also been criminally charged on six misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and forcible touching based on the allegations of three accusers, including Ashworth. In June 2019, he was arrested and charged with forcible touching after a woman accused him of grabbing her breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in the Moxy Times Square hotel. Gooding has denied these allegations and Heller told reporters at the time, “Mr. Gooding has not acted inappropriately in any shape or form. Nothing in the video could even be considered ambiguous, and I frankly am shocked and horrified that this case is being prosecuted.”
A representative for Gooding was not immediately available for comment.
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