Bartender wins lawsuit against Cuba Gooding Jr. over groping claims

Bartender wins lawsuit against Cuba Gooding Jr. over claims the actor ‘pinched’ her butt at an NYC nightclub

  • Natasha Ashworth claimed 53-year-old ‘pinched’ her buttocks at nightclub 
  • She requested a default judgment in January after Gooding failed to hire lawyer 
  • Judge granted the civil judgment against Gooding on the claims of assault and battery. But he denied a default judgment on her claim of infliction of emotional distress citing redundancy. The case was set for trial to determine damages
  • Gooding denies the allegations and his lawyer called the judgment ‘baseless’ 

A bartender who accused Cuba Gooding Jr. of groping her buttocks has won a default judgment against the actor after he failed to respond to her lawsuit for more than a year. 

Natasha Ashworth claimed the 53-year-old ‘pinched’ her without consent at the Tao Downtown Nightclub in New York City. Ashworth initially filed the civil suit for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Oscar-winning actor in October 2019.

The New York City native apparently never hired a civil attorney and never responded to the court, prompting her to request the default judgment, which rules on the side of one party in court when the other hasn’t responded to the court.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch granted Ashworth’s request on Wednesday for a default judgment against Gooding on the claims of assault and battery, Page Six reported.

Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans game at Barclays Center in New York in November 2019

But the judge denied a default judgment on the claim of infliction of emotional distress citing redundancy.

Tisch said the case will be set for trial to determine damages.

Gooding’s criminal attorney Mark Heller said ‘the claim is baseless and the judgment is worthless.’

Ashworth said in court documents that Gooding asked her if she wanted to hear a joke that was sexual in nature and after she declined, he recited the joke anyway.

She said as her work shift was winding down around 4:20 a.m., he approached her and used ‘his right hand reached to pinch [her] on her right buttocks.’ 

Ashworth said she told the actor, ‘Don’t touch my butt’ to which he responded, ‘Aw, that’s no fun … and I didn’t, I touched your back.’

After unsuccessful attempts to touch her again, a promoter at the club told him to leave the establishment, to which he ‘pushed the promoter out of his way and approached a manager,’ Ashworth said.

Ashworth said Gooding told her, ‘You don’t have to worry, because I am never coming back here again.’ 

Cuba Gooding Jr. attends the Inter Miami CF Season Opening Party Hosted By David Grutman And Pharrell Williams at The Goodtime Hotel on April 16, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida

Gooding, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 30 women in recent years, has denied all of the accusations. 

The actor has been criminally charged on six misdemeanour counts of sexual abuse and forcible touching stemming from the allegations of three accusers – including Ashworth.

He was arrested in June 2019 for allegedly groping a 30-year-old woman’s breasts inside the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in the Moxy Times Square hotel.

Gooding denies the allegations.  


June 2019 – 2 counts; forcible touching and sexual abuse 

Gooding Jr. has been charged with forcible touching and third degree sexual abuse – both misdemeanors – for allegedly touching a woman’s breast at the Magic Hour Rooftop in Manhattan this June. He denies it. 

October 2018 – 2 counts; forcible touching and sexual abuse 

The grand jury indictment is connected to a different incident, in October last year at Tao nightclub in Manhattan. 

For that incident, he is charged with forcible touching and third degree sexual abuse. 

September 2018:  Two misdemeanor charges relating to an incident in New York City

Papers filed by prosecutors on Tuesday also describe 12 other incidents over which he has not been charged but which prosecutors think constitute misconduct. They include:

1) A 2001 incident at the W Hotel where he approached a woman he had never met and ‘rubbed his groin and pelvis against her buttocks while simultaneously grabbed her buttocks and breast with his hand’.

2) A 2003 incident at the Yard House in Long Beach where he allegedly put his hand on another woman’s buttocks and ‘squeezed it’ while they had a photo taken together. He then told her: ‘You’ve got a good piece of a**’

3) A 2006 incident at Chi, a bar in Hollywood, where he approached a woman from behind and ‘bit her shoulder, on her bare back’ twice, then ‘thrust his pelvis’ against her leg and ‘attempted to lift the bottom of her shirt up’ 

4) A 2007 incident at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas where, at a ‘movie related event’, ‘forcibly pulled’ a woman towards him and ‘attempted to kiss her’ after calling her and her friends over to his table. He then allegedly ‘licked’ her face and ‘grabbed her buttocks’

The next night, he allegedly grabbed the same woman and placed his tongue against her closed lips

5) An incident at Butter, a now closed nightclub in Manhattan, sometime between 2007 and 2008 where he allegedly grabbed another woman’s buttocks and ‘squeezed’ it as she walked through a crowd

6) An incident in 2011 at a bar in Los Angeles where he allegedly placed his hand inside a woman’s blouse and ‘squeezed her bare breast’ and told her: ‘sit on my face and pee in my mouth’

7) An October 2011 incident at Sfuzzi’s in Dallas, Texas, where he allegedly grabbed a woman’s buttocks and ‘rubbed’ them

8) A November 2013 incident at the Chatwal Hotel in New York where he ‘grabbed a woman’s buttocks and licked her neck’

9) A 2014 incident at Cafe Havana in Malibu where he ‘reached under a woman’s skirt and touched her vagina over her underwear’

10) A 2015 incident at Nobu, Malibu, where he ‘attempted to kiss’ a woman then bit her shoulder. When she argued with him, he allegedly called her a ‘c**t’ and a ‘b***h’.

11) An incident ‘approximately five years ago’ at Burt’s Tiki Lounge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he ‘grabbed a woman’s buttocks’ then told her to stop smoking cigarettes.

12) On August 16, 2018, at the Shore Bar in Santa Monica, told a woman: ‘Damn, you’re hot’, asked if she was married then asked her to lean in closer to him where her proceeded to ‘grab her buttocks and breast and forcibly kissed her, inserting his tongue into her mouth’  

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