By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is accused of raping a woman twice in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013, according to a lawsuit that escalates the severity of the growing number of claims against him.
The lawsuit, dated Monday but filed publicly Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, alleged that the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” actor attacked the woman, identified in court papers as “Jane Doe” to protect her privacy, after she met him at a Greenwich Village VIP lounge.
Attorney Mark Heller, who represent the 52-year-old actor, said the “alleged event never took place.”
“And my client is totally innocent of any of these false allegations and we’re confident it will be dismissed,” he said.
“She’s probably just somebody who’s looking for some glory to bask in the publicity and notoriety of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s case,” he added.
Gooding already faces misdemeanor criminal charges of sexual abuse and forcible touching related to claims women have previously made against him. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Heller has called the state court allegations “incredulous” and assailed the prosecution as a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The federal lawsuit said the woman agreed to accompany Gooding to a nearby SoHo hotel, where they were to be joined at the hotel’s ground-floor bar and restaurant by Gooding’s friends and a friend of the woman who was with her when she met Gooding at the VIP lounge.
But when they arrived at the hotel, Gooding convinced her to go upstairs with him to a room, saying he wanted to quickly change his clothes, the lawsuit said.
Instead, he put on music and attacked her, taking off her clothing and holding her arms to pin her down as he sexually assaulted and raped her twice, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said the woman told Gooding during the attacks “’no’ numerous times but he wouldn’t stop.”
According to court papers, the August 2013 attack has left the woman with “emotional pain, suffering, and a loss of enjoyment of life.” The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Gooding appeared last week in Manhattan state court, where he has pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor charges of forcible touching and sexual abuse. If convicted, he faces up to a year behind bars.
State prosecutors say more than two dozen women have made claims against Gooding since allegations first arose against him.