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Cuba Gooding Jr. warrant: New Orleans bar won't pursue charges

August 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
New Orleans police say Cuba Gooding Jr. is expected to plead no contest on Friday for allegedly pushing a female bartender twice, but the restaurant managers say they will not pursue criminal charges against him.

In a statement to The Associated Press from the Old Absinthe House, the restaurant said it will continue to investigate, but it has no plan to press charges.

The incident happened at a Bourbon Street bar in the French Quarter at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to New Orleans Police. The woman told police that the "Jerry Maguire" actor entered the bar with a group of people and became agitated when other patrons recognized him and asked to take photos with him.

The bartender says Gooding pushed her away with an open hand after she approached the actor and asked him to calm down. A co-worker then called 911. The woman claims she was pushed again after telling Gooding that police were on the way and that he needed to leave. She said after the second push, Gooding left the bar.

Gooding was wanted on a misdemeanor battery charge, but his publicist, Nancy Kane, on Wednesday downplayed the incident, saying in a statement, "There is no warrant."

"Mr. Gooding, his representative and the New Orleans authorities met this morning and are moving swiftly to resolve this misunderstanding," Kane said.

The actor is in New Orleans filming "The Butler," a movie about a White House butler who serves eight American presidents. It also stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and Jane Fonda.