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Cuba Gooding Jr.'s 3 Kids: All About Spencer, Mason and Piper

Cuba Gooding Jr. aimed to teach his sons and daughter how to manage life in the spotlight

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Cuba Gooding Jr. and his kids Mason Gooding and Spencer Gooding arrive at the premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man" on June 28, 2012 in Westwood, California.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Cuba Gooding Jr. and his kids Mason Gooding and Spencer Gooding arrive at the premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man" on June 28, 2012 in Westwood, California.

Cuba Gooding Jr. may be famous for his acting roles in Jerry Maguire and The People v. O.J. Simpson, but he didn't want his kids — Spencer, Mason and Piper — to immediately follow in his footsteps.

“It’s an adult responsibility to be an actor — it really is,” Cuba told The Press Association in 2007, adding that he would be “horrified” if his children wanted to enter the industry at a young age. “They have to grow up and become adults first [before] all of this praise and money and adult responsibility."

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He clarified that he’d rather they “just enjoy life, experience life, be exposed to life, understand what life lessons are and morals are."

The Selma star and then-wife Sara Kapfer started a family when Spencer was born in 1994. Mason followed in 1996 and Piper joined the Gooding crew in 2005. Cuba and Kapfer split after 20 years of marriage in 2014 — the actor then filed for divorce three years later.

Now, middle child Mason is the first to become an actor like his dad, having starred in notable films like Booksmart and Scream 5. Still, Cuba feels that Mason and his siblings have remained grounded.

“A lot of times, celebrities’ kids can get special treatment,” he said on The No Judgement Zone podcast in 2014. Cuba added that he was proud of how he and Kapfer “raised real good kids that” navigate life in the spotlight “pretty well.”

<p>SGranitz/WireImage</p> Cuba Gooding Jr. and kids Spencer and Mason during the world premiere of "Superman Returns".

SGranitz/WireImage

Cuba Gooding Jr. and kids Spencer and Mason during the world premiere of "Superman Returns".

As his children have grown, Cuba has been at the center of multiple sexual assault allegations. In April 2022, he pleaded guilty to one count of forcibly touching a woman at a New York City rooftop bar. The following year, Cuba settled a 2020 lawsuit, in which he was accused of raping a woman twice in 2013 — he denied these allegations.

The actor was also added as a defendant in a civil complaint originally focused on Sean "Diddy" Combs, made by Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones Jr. — the lawsuit, which was amended in March 2024, alleges that Cuba sexually assaulted Lil Rod. An attorney for Gooding did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment when the lawsuit was filed.

Here’s everything to know about Cuba Gooding Jr.'s kids: Spencer, Mason and Piper.

Spencer Gooding, 29

<p>Joe Kohen/Variety/Penske Media/Getty</p> Cuba Gooding Jr.'s son Spencer Gooding.

Joe Kohen/Variety/Penske Media/Getty

Cuba Gooding Jr.'s son Spencer Gooding.

Cuba and Kapfer welcomed their first child, son Spencer, in September 1994.

Cuba opened up about Spencer's favorite activities as a child, like going to summer camp, but admitted it could be an emotional experience.

“They’re excited to go the night before ... [then] they call crying,” Cuba shared with MoviesOnline in 2007. “And then they show up and they’re dirty and smelly because they forgot to shower the entire two weeks and they’re like, ‘The best time ever. Can’t wait ’til next year.’ “

After high school, Spencer attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he pursued a degree in American English literature, per his LinkedIn.

“During my attendance at Wesleyan I needed to take a year off from school during what was a difficult time in my life,” he shared on Instagram in 2019. “But was given the second chance to return and complete my education!”

<p>Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic</p> Cuba Gooding Jr. with sons Mason Gooding and Spencer Gooding at the Los Angeles premiere of "Avatar" on December 16, 2009.

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Cuba Gooding Jr. with sons Mason Gooding and Spencer Gooding at the Los Angeles premiere of "Avatar" on December 16, 2009.

Spencer got his degree in 2018, and his father beamed with pride. “I cried like a little girl,” Cuba told PEOPLE Now of watching his son get his diploma. “And now he’s got this executive position working with a company, so I’m very proud of him.”

The college graduate has an interest in film like his father. He’s worked as a production assistant at Comedy Central and 21 Century Fox and currently serves as a content editor at WEBTOON. He’s also tried his hand at streaming video games on Twitch and has shared reviews of movies on his Instagram.

Spencer is close with both of his parents. He celebrated his mom in 2018, posting photos on his Instagram Stories and writing, “Happy Mother’s Day to my brilliant strong gorgeous mamma. Words couldn't possibly do her justice.”

As for the rest of his family, he likes giving his siblings shout-outs, including calling his sister Piper “the best lil sister a guy could ask for” and sending love to his brother, Mason.

“You have been my best friend for all of my life, minus the two years before you were born,” he wrote on his Instagram Stories in 2018 for Mason’s birthday.

Mason Gooding, 27

<p>Pascal Le Segretain/Getty</p> Cuba Gooding Jr.'s son Mason Gooding attends the Loewe Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 24, 2023 in Paris, France.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Cuba Gooding Jr.'s son Mason Gooding attends the Loewe Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 24, 2023 in Paris, France.

Cuba and Kapfer celebrated the arrival of their second child, son Mason, in November 1996.

Like Spencer, he had a more private childhood, but his father shared glimpses during his early years.

“My youngest boy is a Boy Scout,” Cuba once shared with MoviesOnline. “I’ve been the chaperone on a couple of those camping excursions.”

Though Cuba expressed concern about his kids following him into acting at a young age, Mason eventually got his big break in the HBO comedy Ballers after a short time at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

“My youngest son Mason just did a stint on Ballers with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as one of the characters in that,” Cuba proudly shared with PEOPLE Now in 2018. “He’s got a new indie movie that he’s starring in, [too.]”

Mason’s acting career only skyrocketed from there, including the Netflix holiday movie Let It Snow, coming-of-age comedy Booksmart and Hulu's Love, Victor. But one of his biggest achievements came in 2020 when he was announced as part of the cast of Scream 5.

<p>TM/NHL/GC Images</p> Cuba Gooding Jr. and son Mason Gooding at Madison Square Garden on December 23, 2016 in New York City.

TM/NHL/GC Images

Cuba Gooding Jr. and son Mason Gooding at Madison Square Garden on December 23, 2016 in New York City.

The budding actor is close with his brother, and the two are often seen having adventures together on Instagram.

“If you asked me when i was younger who my hero was, I can almost guarantee i would have said ‘my big brother,’ ” Mason wrote on Instagram in 2023, alongside throwback photos with his sibling. “And you know what? Some things never change. Happy Birthday Spence.”

These days, Mason is also spending time with his girlfriend, model Amenah Soares. "It's your birthday but we're lucky enough to receive the gift of you everyday,” he wrote on Instagram about his partner in 2023.

Mason spoke out about his father’s sexual assault allegations in January 2022.

"I couldn't be more grateful to live in a time in which someone — man, woman, anyone — would feel comfortable speaking about their experiences,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I also love my father, and given who he is and how he raised me, I'm happy to say, nothing I've read, heard or had discussed with me has been in line with any way I've known him to behave."

Piper Gooding, 18

<p>Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock</p> Cuba Gooding Jr. with his daughter Piper Gooding at the 4th Annual Kidstock Music and Arts Festival on June 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Alex Berliner/BEI/Shutterstock

Cuba Gooding Jr. with his daughter Piper Gooding at the 4th Annual Kidstock Music and Arts Festival on June 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Cuba and Kapfer’s youngest child, daughter Piper, was born in October 2005.

The actor’s rep shared the pregnancy news in July 2005, telling PEOPLE they were “thrilled to be adding another addition to our family.”

Despite his busy schedule, Cuba said he tried to spend a lot of time with Piper.

“She’s so cute,” he told MoviesOnline in 2007. “She’s got ... a dad who travels a lot, so when he’s there ... she stays on my shoulder."

In 2018, the actor told PEOPLE that his daughter was “12 going on 30," with various hobbies and interests. “She sings, dances, does it all,” he said.

These days, Piper is living life as a typical teenager. She’s passionate about dance, and she performs as the captain of the Palisades Charter High School Dance Team, according to her Instagram. Piper also shared a link to a fundraiser for the Thirst Water Project on the social media platform.

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Read the original article on People.