Cuba Gooding Jr. Is Accused of Groping Woman at a Manhattan Bar

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Detectives are investigating an allegation that the actor Cuba Gooding Jr. groped a woman’s breast at a Manhattan bar, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

Mr. Gooding, 51, is expected to turn himself in to the police department’s Special Victims’ Division on Thursday afternoon.

The incident allegedly occurred on Sunday night at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar, an expensive lounge at the Moxy NYC Times Square hotel. According to one law enforcement official, detectives were able to corroborate the woman’s account using security camera footage from the bar.

On the footage, the official said, Mr. Gooding is seen forcibly touching the woman, who is a student at New York University.

The decision on whether to charge Mr. Gooding ultimately rests with the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. Mr. Vance recently faced fierce criticism over his 2015 decision not to prosecute a similar case against the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Mr. Gooding’s lawyer, Mark J. Heller, said the actor denied the allegations and predicted the videotape would vindicate him.

“The allegation is — he groped a woman’s breast,” Mr. Heller said. “To the best of my knowledge there was no groping whatsoever.”

Asked by the entertainment website TMZ if he had groped the woman, Mr. Gooding said, “No, absolutely not.”

“I’m going to trust the system and the process,” he said in a videotaped interview. “There is a tape that shows what really happened.”

Still, Mr. Heller said, his client intended to turn himself in to the police on Thursday.

Danny Frost, a spokesman for the district attorney, declined to comment on what decision, if any, the office had made. A police spokesman, Phil Walzak, also declined to comment on the investigation.

Mr. Gooding, a Bronx native whose parents were professional singers, had his first major success in the 1991 film “Boyz n the Hood” and won an Academy Award in 1997 for his supporting role as an arrogant football player in “Jerry Maguire.”

The incident was reported to the police around 12:30 a.m. Monday, the police said. Detectives reviewed security camera footage until around 6 a.m., according to the law enforcement official.

“They believe it,” the official said. “It’s real. It’s on video.”

The official said Mr. Gooding is expected to be charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.

In 2015, Mr. Vance’s office declined to bring charges against Mr. Weinstein after an Italian model accused him of groping her breasts during an interview at his offices in TriBeCa. Prosecutors at the time cited a lack of evidence.

Two years later, in 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed years’ worth of sexual abuse allegations against Mr. Weinstein. The avalanche of allegations spurred the #MeToo movement, and led to an international reckoning over sexual assault.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office later charged Mr. Weinstein with rape and other felony sex crimes related to encounters he had with two women. His trial is expected to begin in the fall.

Ashley Southall contributed reporting.

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