Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. could face millions of dollars in damages after failing to respond to a lawsuit that accused him of raping a woman in New York City in 2013.
U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty issued a default judgment against Gooding on Thursday, saying it appeared the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” star was willfully ignoring the trial and waiting any longer would be unfair to his accuser.
Judge Crotty said that by law, Gooding, 53’s inability to respond and defend himself in the trial constituted an admission of liability.
The judge gave Gooding a final deadline of Sept. 7 to participate in the case. After that, the judge said, he will decide on damages.
CUBA GOODING JR. ACCUSED OF RAPE IN 2013 IN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, alleged that Gooding raped her unprotected after meeting her at a VIP lounge in Greenwich Village and luring her to her hotel room under de false pretenses.
She claims $ 6 million in damages.
No attorneys have been listed for Gooding in the Federal Court role. A message asking for comment was left for his lawyer in his New York criminal case.
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Attorney Mark Heller, who represents Gooding in the criminal case, said the alleged events in the trial “never happened” and suggested the plaintiff was someone “looking a bit of glory to take advantage of the publicity and notoriety of the Cuba Gooding Jr. case. “
Citing case law, Crotty said in his order on Thursday that he would invite both parties to discuss damages in court before deciding what Gooding owes.
The accuser initially sued Gooding in August 2020. The case was closed and then quickly reopened in March over a technical issue. Gooding received court documents on April 22 and did not respond to an initial May 13 deadline, Crotty said in his order.
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In his criminal case, tried in New York state court, Gooding is accused of raping three different women in three different nightlife venues in Manhattan in 2018 and 2019. One of the women claimed that Gooding had him pinched buttocks. Another said he squeezed her chest.
Gooding pleaded not guilty. An October 18 hearing is scheduled to set a date for the trial.