Cuba Gooding Jr. sued by server over alleged groping incident
A civil lawsuit has been filed against actor Cuba Gooding Jr. by one of the women connected to the criminal sexual abuse case against him.
The woman, Natasha Ashworth, publicly identified herself for the first time in the lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Ashworth, a former waitress at the Manhattan nightclub, Tao Downtown, claims Gooding pinched her buttocks, made lewd remarks and repeatedly tried to touch her before she sought help from club management in the early morning hours of Oct 24, 2018.
According to the suit, Ashworth was serving Gooding at his table when he allegedly asked her, “Do you want to see my impression of a penis?”
Ashworth states she replied, “No.”
Gooding “then drank from his glass and began spitting liquid out of his mouth,” Ashworth claims, adding that she walked away but was later subjected to more harassment at the end of her shift.
“As she waited at the bar, at approximately 4:20 AM,” Gooding “reached to pinch [Ashworth] on her right buttocks,” and she replied, “Don’t touch my butt,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit states Gooding responded, “Aw, that’s no fun. And I didn’t, I touched your back.”
Ashworth claims he then touched her back, and tried twice more to touch her buttocks.
After Ashworth reported the incident to the nightclub’s manager, who spoke to Gooding, the actor said he would not return to the establishment and left, according to the suit.
Gooding was charged last week with two counts of forcible touching and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse in connection with Ashworth’s accusations. He was also previously charged in August with two other sexual abuse counts related to a separate nightclub incident.
He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and denies any wrongdoing. Prior to the civil complaint being filed, Gooding’s lawyer, Mark Heller, claimed at an Oct. 15th court hearing that prosecutors are in possession of video evidence related to Ashworth’s claims that would prove there was “no criminal conduct on the part of Cuba.”
Ashworth’s lawyer Joshua Kleiman did not return CNN’s request for comment.