Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads not guilty to new claim of sexual misconduct

Cuba Gooding Jr. has pleaded not guilty to an indictment alleging two instances of sexual misconduct.

Gooding appeared Tuesday before a judge in New York City and was released on his own recognizance.

The new charge involves an alleged incident in October 2018, which the defence paints as a shakedown attempt.

The 51-year-old Jerry Maguire star was previously accused of groping a woman’s breast at a bar on June 9. The woman told police she believed Gooding was intoxicated.

The defence has said there are two witnesses who say it never happened, as well as a bar video that backs up that claim.

Prosecutors say up to a dozen accusers could testify at the sexual misconduct trial. The allegations from the 12 other women range from 2001 to 2018 and all involve allegations he touched or grabbed women at bars, hotels or restaurants. Prosecutors said several of the alleged incidents happened in New York or the Los Angeles area. Others are said to have occurred in Las Vegas, Dallas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Gooding’s attorney Mark Heller said outside court that he is “shocked, outraged and absolutely dumbfounded,” by the allegations.