Prosecutors accused the defense team of intimidating Gooding's accuser.
After being postponed back in September, it's reported that Cuba Gooding Jr.'s sexual assault trial will begin this week. The Academy Award-winning actor stands accused of groping a woman back in June at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York City. In a report, she told police that she believed Gooding may have been drunk, and days later he was arrested and charged for the alleged assault.
Additionally, Page Six shares that prosecutor Jenna Long from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office asked the judge in the case just weeks ago to place a gag order on the defense team. Long allegedly wanted to prevent Gooding and his team from talking about the case to the press. The judge reportedly denied Long's request.
In the letter that Long sent to the judge, the prosecutor stated that the actor's defense lawyers, Mark Heller and Peter Toumbekis, have attempted to "intimidate" the alleged victim by asserting that she has the behaviors of a mentally unstable person. After learning of Long's petition for a gag order, Heller sent off a letter of his own, stating that to enact such an order would be infringing on his client's First Amendment rights. He also noted that the information he gathered about the accuser was taken from social media where it was made public for everyone to see.
On the day of the incident, Gooding was reportedly out with his girlfriend Claudine De Niro—the estranged wife of Robert De Niro's son. Video surveillance footage of the incident was leaked to the media and it allegedly shows Gooding reaching over his girlfriend and groping the breast of his accuser. Gooding has been steadfast regarding his innocence and his girlfriend has echoed his sentiments.