entertainment 3 weeks ago

Cuba Gooding Jr. Sued for Allegedly Pinching Nightclub Server

Variety — Gene Maddaus

A Tao nightclub server who alleges that Cuba Gooding Jr., pinched her rear-end last year has sued the Oscar-winning actor for sexual battery.

Natasha Ashworth had previously come forward to New York law enforcement, though her name had not been released publicly. Gooding was indicted last week on four misdemeanor counts, including two counts stemming from the Tao nightclub incident on Oct. 24, 2018. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on Dec. 13.

Ashworth’s lawsuit fills in additional details about the incident. According to the suit, Ashworth was serving Gooding’s table, when he asked her, “Do you want to see my impression of a penis?” She said no. He then drank from his glass and spit liquid out of his mouth. She walked away.

Later on, at 4:20 a.m., Ashworth was standing at the bar when Gooding approached her and pinched her butt, according to the suit. “Don’t touch my butt,” she said. He replied, “Aw, that’s no fun,” and then denied the charge, saying he had only touched her back, according to the suit.

The suit alleges that Gooding then tried to touch her again, and she deflected his hand. The situation then escalated, and Gooding went to talk to the manager. He then returned and tried to touch Ashworth’s rear a third time, the suit alleges. She turned away to avoid him, and he said, “Oh, you don’t have to worry, because I am never coming back here again.” He then left through the kitchen.

The suit states that it was the first time in Ashworth’s four years as a server that a customer had subjected her to such sexually aggressive behavior.

Gooding has also been accused of groping a woman at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar in New York on June 9. Another 12 women have told prosecutors that they will testify that Gooding approached them in bars or clubs and groped them, bit them or engaged in other inappropriate sexual behavior.

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