Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is now confronted with two additional lawsuits from women who allege separate incidents of inappropriate behavior at New York restaurants in 2018 and 2019, marking a continuation of the legal troubles that have surrounded him in recent months.
The lawsuits, filed on Wednesday in New York Supreme Court, leverage the state’s Adult Survivors Act, which is on the verge of expiration this week. This legislation provides a limited window for plaintiffs to file civil claims related to sexual offenses, which would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations.
In the 2018 claim, a cocktail waitress employed at LAVO restaurant and nightclub in New York accuses Gooding of non-consensual behavior, specifically forcing his tongue into her mouth. Gooding had previously pleaded guilty to a charge connected to this incident in the prior year. The lawsuit incorporates a portion of the transcript from an April 2022 hearing, where Gooding admitted to the conduct. To protect her privacy, the plaintiff has requested that her name not be disclosed.
The 2019 claim introduces Kelsey Harbert, who alleges that Gooding groped her breast at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge while she was seated next to him and his girlfriend. According to the lawsuit, when Harbert responded by grabbing Gooding’s hand to remove it from her breast, he allegedly took her hand, brought it to his mouth, and attempted to kiss it. Harbert promptly filed a police report following the incident. Gooding, once again, pleaded guilty, with the lawsuit quoting his acknowledgment of “non-consensual physical contact” during the hearing.
These new legal challenges come on the heels of Gooding settling a $6 million civil lawsuit in June, where a woman had accused him of sexual misconduct. The actor’s legal woes continue to unfold as these recent lawsuits add to the complexities of his legal battles.