Cuba Gooding Jr., who surrendered to police last week after being accused of groping a woman at a New York City bar, is defending himself against another accusation of sexual assault — this time from a woman who said the actor molested her in 2012 when she was a teenager.
Blogger and comedian Claudia Oshry discussed the alleged assault on “The Morning Toast,” a podcast she co-hosts, last week. She said she was “fucking 16 years old” and a senior in high school when Gooding “put his finger up my butt.”
Oshry later elaborated in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” saying the assault occurred in 2012 at a club in New York. She’d been at a table with her friends, she said, “when I felt someone inappropriately touching me.”
“I turn around and Cuba Gooding Jr. is there hysterically laughing,” Oshry said. “I was mortified.”
She said she felt “genuinely confused” by Gooding’s actions.
“Nobody had ever touched me without my consent before. I wasn’t planning on turning around and seeing a celebrity, just your average NYC degenerate,” Oshry said, adding that she didn’t contact authorities about the incident because she was worried she’d “get in trouble for being at a club underage and using a fake ID.”
Oshry said she did tell her family and her friends at the time, and later used the story as fodder for her stand-up routines.
“Now I use it as a shtick in my show on tour,” she said on her podcast. “Like, you really want to put a finger up my butt? Without my consent? Fine, but I’m going to use it for all that it’s worth.”
Oshry said she’s been speaking publicly about what happened for almost two years. But the story has gone viral in recent days following last Wednesday’s podcast episode.
Gooding’s attorney, Mark Heller, said in a statement that the actor denies Oshry’s allegation.
“Mr. Gooding told me such an event never happened. He doesn’t know this individual,” Heller said, according to People magazine.
Oshry told “Entertainment Tonight” that she’d been contacted by at least five women who she said shared similar allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor.
“I think lots of people are embarrassed to speak on this,” Oshry said.
Oshry’s podcast revelation was made a day before Gooding surrendered to New York police on Thursday on charges of groping a woman’s breast at a rooftop bar in Manhattan.
A law enforcement official told the New York Times that security camera footage corroborated the woman’s account that Gooding forcibly touched her on June 9.
Gooding’s attorney said he’d viewed the same surveillance footage and found “not a drop of criminal conduct or inappropriate activity” on the actor’s part.
Gooding was charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree. He pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Oshry worked at HuffPost as an intern in 2014.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.