Cuba Gooding Jr. reflects on his criminal court experience that has “100% changed” him

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. said he was “10 times more aware” of what’s going on around him after pleading guilty to violent touch in a New York criminal trial.

Last month, the Oscar winner solved the case in which he was accused of forcibly kissing a waitress at LAVO New York in Manhattan in 2018.

He avoided jail time after completing six months of alcohol and behavior modification counseling, which allowed him to retract his misdemeanor and plead guilty to a harassment violation.

By replacing his misdemeanor plea with a non-criminal violation plea, he has no criminal record. Had the actor failed to comply with the terms of the deal, he could have faced up to a year in prison.

The actor A Few Good Men was originally arrested in 2019 after a 29-year-old woman told police he petted her without her consent at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square. This incident was not the one in his guilty plea.

A few months later, prosecutors charged Gooding with pinching a waitress’ buttocks after he made a sexually suggestive remark to her at TAO Downtown and the charge, to which he pleaded guilty, both of the latter incidents allegedly taking place in 2018 had.

Speaking of his experience on Piers Morgan’s Uncensored, Gooding said: “The world knows, I pleaded guilty to assault, kissed a waitress. So that’s it, I’m not here to shame anyone or, you know, take on any of those women who made their statements.

“But it’s one of those moments where I look back and say, ‘How did you find yourself in this scenario, in this situation?’

Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2017 - Press Room - London
Cuba Gooding Jr presents a Bafta in 2017 (Ian West/PA Wire)

“It’s like I said in court, I don’t want anyone to be treated improperly or feel harassed by me in any way. i love my fans I love men and women, all my fans.

“You don’t want to let down those who supported you and got you where you are and my family, my friends who are responsible for the success I have today. You feel guilty and you’re getting through it and working on ways to improve.”

Gooding, who was among a string of Hollywood heavyweights accused of wrongdoing in the #MeToo movement, said he’s 100% changed since the court events.

“I’m ten times more aware of what’s going on around me and I just focus on that,” he told Morgan.

He added: “It’s one of those things where you have to allow every experience in your life. It’s almost like I can’t take the positive, the Oscars and the fame, and ignore the negative. It encompasses everything about where I am today and who I am today.”

Piers Morgan Uncensored continues tonight at 8pm on TalkTV.

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