New Orleans bar case dropped against actor Cuba Gooding Jr
By Kathy Finn
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - New Orleans authorities will not pursue misdemeanor battery charges against actor Cuba Gooding Jr. after a run-in with a bartender at a Bourbon Street bar, according to a city spokesman.
The bartender who made the initial complaint, which led to a summons being issued to Gooding, did not show up for a scheduled court hearing on Friday to press the charges, according to Ryan Berni, press secretary for Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
"Without a complainant and after a review of evidence, city prosecutors did not and will not pursue any charges," Berni told Reuters in an email on Saturday.
Gooding is in New Orleans shooting "The Butler," a movie starring Liam Neeson, according to the New Orleans Film Commission.
Police initially issued an arrest warrant for Gooding on Tuesday after a worker at The Old Absinthe House bar said the actor had pushed a bartender twice. The female bartender told police that Gooding became angry when other patrons asked to take photos with him and she asked him to leave.
But after the actor and his lawyer met and talked with officers on Wednesday, police replaced the warrant with a summons.
Gooding won a best supporting actor Academy Award for his portrayal of an arrogant but loyal professional football player in the 1996 movie "Jerry Maguire."
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Cynthia Johnston and Bill Trott)
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