Cuba Tries to Buy Our Love -- And Succeeds

10/24/2006 2:29 PM PDT

Cuba Tries to Buy Our Love -- And Succeeds

Cuba Gooding, Jr. really showed a lucky rose-peddler the money last night, as he emerged from the celeb-studded confines of New York's downtown star-enclave Butter. And then the Oscar-winner showed an interloping cameraman some love, giving him a rose, no doubt to demonstrate his appreciation for the video attention.

As Gooding stepped onto Lafayette Street, he was guided somewhat uncertainly towards his waiting car. But he had a greater mission in his mind than home and a deep sleep -- he wanted to look after one of the chroniclers of his uniquely American journey. And so he proffered what appears (by TMZ's exhaustive examination) to be a $20 bill for a single red rose. "This is the first time I've ever bought a camera -- uh, flower -- for you guys," said Cuba, affectionately. "Because we love you."

Oh, Cuba, you had us at "Highway Robbery."