In an emotional interview on Good Morning America Wednesday, Terry Crews shared details of the alleged sexual assault he says happened to him in February 2016 by Adam Venit, head of William Morris Endeavor’s motion picture group and an agent to Hollywood stars, including Adam Sandler.
Crews first came forward in early October with allegations against an unnamed Hollywood executive via Twitter. During a sit-down with Michael Strahan Wednesday morning November 15, Crews finally named names and described how he first met Venit at an event with Sandler.
“This is the thing—I did not know this man,” Crews explained. “The first time I ever had an interaction with him was at this event.”
According to Crews, Venit had been sticking his tongue out at him and making “overtly sexual tongue moves” when the actor began to suspect something was not right.
“I’m looking at him like, ‘Is this a joke?’” he described. “It was actually so bizarre.” With his wife Rebecca King-Crews “right there,” Crews claims Venit squeezed his genitals. Stunned, the actor jumped back “like ‘Hey!’”
After Venit allegedly came back a second time, Crews said he physically pushed the agent back, but Venit allegedly continued to laugh. “I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified,” Crews said. “I was horrified.”
Despite wanting to retaliate with his fists, Crews heeded his wife’s earlier advice to resist ever responding with violence and the two left the party.
“If I would have just retaliated in defense, I would be under the jail right now and that’s one thing I knew being a large African-American man in America, I would immediately be seen as a thug, but I’m not a thug. I’m an artist,” he said, noting his wife was crucial to calming him down.
However, after sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein opened up public conversation last month, the memory of that night quickly came back to Crews.
“When the Weinstein thing started happening, I got PTSD. I was going, ‘Oh my God—this exact thing happened to me. I understand why they won’t come forward,” he said.
“People need to be held accountable. This is the deal about Hollywood–it’s an abuse of power,” he told Strahan. “This guy—he’s one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and he looked at me at the end as if [to say], ‘Who’s going to believe you?’”
“I will not be shamed,” the actor declared on live television. “I did nothing wrong. Nothing.”
Crews formally reported his allegations to the Los Angeles Police Department last week. According to Variety, Venit is currently on leave from WME.
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