Hollywood

Cuba Gooding Jr.'s lawyer seeks dismissal of charge, says accuser has 'troubled mentality'

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As promised, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s lawyer is seeking to get a groping charge against the Oscar winner tossed, citing online blog posts that he says suggest the accuser has a “troubled mentality” that could explain why she made a “false” allegation against Gooding.

“The Interests of Justice are SCREAMING OUT FOR THE EXONERATION OF CUBA GOODING JR,” Mark Heller declared in his motion to dismiss, which he posted on his website Sunday

Gooding is accused of one count of “forcible touching,” after a 29-year-old woman says the actor grabbed her breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Manhattan on the evening of June 9.

He has pleaded not guilty and has insisted “nothing” happened during an encounter with the accuser at the bar caught on fuzzy videotape. The accuser not been identified, and it is not clear if she has a lawyer or a representative to speak for her.

Bits of the surveillance video are blurry and puzzling. TMZ had to insert big arrows identifying who was who but it’s still not crystal clear that anyone is being groped or who is doing the groping.

In the motion to dismiss, which Heller had promised in advance of a hearing in the case scheduled for Wednesday in Manhattan, Heller said he has reviewed multiple postings by the accuser on her “blogs.”

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Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. will turn himself in to police after an alleged groping incident at a New York City bar.
USA TODAY

He asserts the posts “clearly reveal the metamorphism of a troubled mentality which sheds light on why she would make false allegations” that Gooding gropedher breast when she approached him and his girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, in the midtown club.

Heller also submitted affidavits from De Niro, the estranged wife of Robert De Niro’s son, who was seated between Gooding and the accuser during their encounter, and from a witness also in the bar that night who says he saw the encounter.

De Niro and the witness, Matthew Assante, said in their affadavits that “at no time” did Gooding touch the accuser’s breast or squeeze it as described in the criminal complaint against him.

Also included in the motion to dismiss is an affidavit from John Baeza, who said he is a former New York sex-crimes detective and “expert” in the field, who viewed the blurry surveillance tape taken from the bar “numerous times, frame by frame.” In his expert opinion, he asserted, Gooding did not commit the sex crime he is charged with known as “forcible touching.”

Heller, one of Gooding’s two New York lawyers, spent most of his motion quoting extensively from the accuser’s blogs.

Heller argues that her revelations about her mental health “provide considerable insight into why an individual with certain mental characteristics would be predisposed to make a false accusation against someone” if she felt, for instance, rejected or jealous.  

According to the motion, the accuser wrote that she’s been diagnosed with “depression ADHD, anxiety disorder, PTSD, and basically learned that my brain was one big fat mess.”  

But as there is no way to read the full posts, the words Heller highlighted lack context.

Still, he says the video and the affidavits, plus a conflicting account of what happened made by the accuser “conclusively shows” that no crime was committed. 

The public will have no confidence in the criminal justice system in New York, Heller claimed, if people “are arrested and charged simply because one person made an unsubstantiated claim against another.”

New York Police sex-crimes detectives and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office have declined to comment on the Gooding case thus far. 

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  •  Cuba Gooding, Jr. in a scene from the film Jerry Maguire. 1 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr., celebrates his Academy Award for his role in Jerry Maguire on March 24, 1997, in Los Angeles. 2 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding, Jr. in a scene from the motion picture Men of Honor. 3 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr., who stars as a Navy cook in the movie Pearl Harbor, poses with U.S. Navy seamen on May 22, 2001, as he arrives for the world premiere of Pearl Harbor in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.4 of 18
  • Ed Harris and Cuba Gooding, Jr. in a scene from the motion picture Radio. 5 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. sits for a portrait while promoting his film Shadowboxer at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10, 2005, in Toronto.6 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr.  attends the Los Angeles premiere of Avatar at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Dec. 16, 2009, in Hollywood, Calif. 7 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives at the 16th annual  Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 23, 2010.8 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. sits for a portrait while promoting his movie Red Tails on Jan. 10, 2012, in New York. 9 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. attends Lee Daniels' The Butler Los Angeles premiere held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on Aug. 12, 2013 in Los Angeles.10 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr.and Jennifer Lawrence arrive at the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 18, 2014.11 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives on the red carpet for the Stadium Series hockey game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium in  Los Angeles on Jan. 25, 2014.12 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr., left, plays O.J. Simpson and Courtney B. Vance plays attorney Johnnie Cochran as they react to the verdict in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.13 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 18, 2016. 14 of 18
  • Gregg Bello and Cuba Gooding Jr. attend the after party for Louisiana Caviar at The Mailroom on Feb. 26, 2018, in New York.15 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. arrives at the New York Police Department's Special Victim's Unit, on June 13, 2019, to face allegations he groped a woman at a city night spot. A 29-year-old woman told police the 51-year-old Gooding grabbed her breast while he was intoxicated around 11:15 p.m. June 9, 2019. Gooding denies the allegations. 16 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr., center, is lead by police officers from the New York Police Department's Special Victim's Unit, on June 13, 2019, in New York.17 of 18
  • Cuba Gooding Jr., left, is lead by a police officer from New York's Special Victim's Unit  on June 13, 2019 in New York.18 of 18

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