Cuba Gooding Jr. Settles Sex Abuse Case, Avoids Trial

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Cuba Gooding Jr. won't be headed to trial after a woman accused the actor of raping her in a New York City hotel room 10 years ago.

On Tuesday (June 6), Gooding Jr. settled the sex abuse case just as jury selection was about to begin, per the Associated Press.

The plaintiff was seeking $6 million in damages. The terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.

"The parties have resolved the matter," a brief entry on the court docket read Tuesday, minutes after jurors began to convene in a courtroom.

According to her lawsuit, the woman initially met Gooding Jr. in August 2013 at a New York restaurant. The actor allegedly invited the woman for drinks at the Mercer Hotel, where he was staying, and at one point, asked her to join him in his room while he was changing clothes.

Gooding Jr. later put on music and "took a position between her and the hotel room door," and started undressing, according to the suit. When the woman tried to leave, Gooding Jr. allegedly "blocked her from the door and pushed her onto the bed."

Despite the woman repeatedly declining the actor's advances, he "wouldn't stop" touching her, the suit stated. Gooding Jr. allegedly "aggressively removed Plaintiff's underwear" and raped her. The woman said he raped her a second time a short while later.

Gooding Jr. has maintained his innocence, saying that their encounter was consensual.

Judge Paul Crotty previously ruled that three other accusers would be allowed to testify during Gooding Jr.'s trial.

"The prior acts are sufficiently similar to Plaintiff's allegations because all involve sudden sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults connected with the Defendant and victims' presence in social settings prominently featuring drinking like festivals, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants," Crotty wrote.

Gooding Jr. avoided trial as he averted prison last year by pleading guilty in a state criminal case that accused him of forcibly touching multiple women. Under the terms of his agreement, the actor underwent alcohol and behavioral counseling, which allowed him to withdraw the initial guilty plea. He then pleaded guilty to a non-criminal harassment violation, leaving him no criminal record.

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