Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared in a New York City courthouse on Thursday to begin his sexual abuse trial. He tried to maintain a calm demeanour as he entered the courtroom but left looking dejected, after he was indicted on a new accusation related to his case.
The 51-year-old actor managed a smile and a wave as photographers snapped pictures of him entering the Manhattan Criminal Court flocked by his lawyers and security detail. He even managed a "good morning" when one of the photographers greeted him. However, he did not reply when asked how he was feeling at that moment.
Gooding was later spotted leaving the courthouse in a hurry. He exchanged a few quick words with his attorney before he got inside a waiting vehicle. He also did not look pleased.
According to Fox News, the first day of trial was supposed to be a quick jury selection and opening statement. In an unexpected turn of events, the Oscar winner was slapped with a new charge relating to the sexual abuse claims, the details of which will remain sealed until his arraignment on Oct. 15, Tuesday.
Gooding is already facing two sexual misdemeanor charges: forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree, after the victim claimed that he touched her breasts while he was "highly intoxicated." The unidentified woman said they argued afterward and she resisted. The incident reportedly happened in June at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Manhattan.
Security camera footage allegedly confirmed the victim's accusations. The "Boyz n the Hood" star pleaded not guilty to the allegations and his attorney, Mark J. Heller, said the video did not show "a drop of criminal conduct or inappropriate activity" on his client's part.
"I have known Cuba for almost 30 years and his conduct towards women is always respectful. He respects women and he would never engage in that type of activity," Heller told People.
Gooding surrendered himself to the New York Police Department in June and was released on his own recognisance. He also said that he leaves everything to the legal system to decide if he is guilty or not.