Cuba Gooding Jr. has been keeping his lawyers very busy over the past few years. That’s because Cuba has been staring down dozens and dozens of various misconduct allegations. Today we’re specifically talking about one of his drunken nightclub groping accusations. I say “one of,” because there isn’t just one. Back in October 2019, Cuba was accused of getting handsy with a server at the Tao nightclub in New York City. Cuba was hit with criminal charges. Despite there being legitimate security camera footage of the incident, Cuba pleaded not guilty to the charges. The server also hit Cuba with a civil lawsuit, which he just lost, because he ignored it.
Tao server Natasha Ashworth claimed that Cuba asked her if she wanted to see an impression of his penis, then later allegedly grabbed her butt. And after she filed a civil lawsuit against Cuba, he ghosted everyone and didn’t even bother with hiring a civil lawyer. Hello, Cuba – sexual abuse charges aren’t your Razzie-nominated performance in Boat Trip; you can’t just ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. Although according to Page Six, that’s exactly what Cuba did. So Natasha went to the judge and requested the case go ahead with or without Cuba. via Page Six:
Natasha Ashworth sued Gooding in October 2019, claiming that while she was serving him at Tao Downtown Nightclub the year before, he repeatedly tried to grope her backside.
The Jerry Maguire star, 53, failed to respond to Ashworth’s complaint for more than a year – prompting her to request a default judgment against him in January.
Gooding apparently never hired a civil attorney to defend against the suit. To date, no court papers have been entered for the Academy Award winner, nor has any lawyer been listed in the case on his behalf, court records show.
Cuba really did think that “out of sight, out of mind” works on the legal system. But of course, it doesn’t. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch approved Natasha’s default judgment request for her assault and battery claims. But just because Judge Tisch granted a default judgment doesn’t mean this situation is over. Judge Tisch only approved judgment on the assault and battery charges. Natasha’s lawsuit was also seeking damages for emotional distress. A trial date would have to be set to determine how much, if any, damages would be awarded.
So, is Cuba taking this situation seriously yet? I’ll let this statement from Cuba’s lawyer Mark Heller to Page Six answer that for you:
Gooding’s criminal defense attorney Mark Heller said that “the claim is baseless and the judgment is worthless.”
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not Cuba will show up for the damages phase. But he better show up, and with a skilled lawyer too. Because Cuba is literally facing 32+ accusations of misconduct. Something tells me he’s going to be writing a whole lot of checks in his future, and his lawyer is going to have to negotiate numbers that work with Cuba’s bank account. Cuba has three dozen accusers and a net worth of only $14 million! I’m terrible at math, and even I know he needs to put his lawyer to work ASAP.