Actorhas settled accusations that he raped a woman in a New York City hotel a decade ago, according to court records. Tuesday’s revelation came as a trial was set to begin in federal court.
The Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” star had insisted through lawyers that his encounter with the woman was consensual after the two met at a nearby restaurant in Manhattan.
The woman had proceeded anonymously until last week, when Judge Paul A. Crotty ruled that she would have to reveal her name at trial. She said in her lawsuit that Gooding raped her in his hotel room after convincing her to stop at the room so he could change clothing. His lawyers, though, insisted that it was consensual sex and that she bragged afterward to others that she had sex with a celebrity.
The lawsuit sought $6 million in damages. Gloria Allred, one of several attorneys representing the woman, declined to comment to CBS News about the reported settlement. Other lawyers, including those representing Gooding, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The trial was to start with jury selection in New York federal court. Minutes after jurors were to begin assembling in a courtroom, a calendar entry in the official court record said: “TRIAL OFF.” It added: “Reason for cancellation (on consent): the parties have resolved the matter.”
The lawsuit was filed against a man who authorities say has beenof committing sexual misconduct against more than 30 other women, including groping, unwanted kissing and other inappropriate behavior.
Late last week, the judge seemed to strengthen the woman’s hand at trial and in settlement negotiations by ruling that he would let three women testify that they also were subjected to sudden sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults after meeting Gooding in social settings such as festivals, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
One of the women who had planned to testify at the trial was Kelsey Harbert, who told police Gooding fondled her without her consent atnear Times Square in 2019.
Harbert said last year after Gooding pleaded guilty in New York state court to a charge that spared him from jail or a criminal history that never getting her day in court was “more disappointing than words can say.”
In April 2022, Gooding was permitted to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, admitting that he forcibly kissed a worker at a New York nightclub in 2018.
By staying out of trouble and completing six months of alcohol and behavioral counseling, Gooding was permitted to withdraw his guilty plea and plead guilty to a non-criminal harassment violation, eliminating his criminal record and preventing further penalties.