REUTERS

Terry Crews Names Attacker, Recalls Alleged Sexual Assault: 'I Was Horrified'

Terry Crews has identified the man he says groped him at a Hollywood party in February 2016 as high-profile agent Adam Venit.


Venit was, at the time, “the head of the motion picture department at Williams Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest [talent] agencies in the world, period,” Crews said on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.

Venit’s list of clients includes top names in Hollywood such as Emma Stone, Eddie Murphy, Kevin James, Sylvester Stallone, Adam Sandler, Steve Martin and Vince Vaughn. Also on Venit’s list is Brett Ratner, who is currently facing sexual harassment allegations of his own.

“He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business,” Crews said. “Now, this is the thing I did not know this man. I had never had a conversation with him, ever.”

Crews then recalled the incident, which he repeatedly described as “bizarre.”

“I’m looking at him, and he’s basically staring at me, and he’s sticking his tongue out, and just overtly sexual tongue moves. And I’m sitting there like, it’s a party, it’s packed, the whole thing. And I’m looking like, ‘Is this a joke I don’t understand.’ It was actually so bizarre. And he keeps coming over to me, he comes over to me, I stick my hand out, and he literally takes my hand, and puts it, and squeezes my genitals. And I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey!’ I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing’

“And then he comes back again. And he just won’t stop. And then I really got forceful, pushed him back, he bumps into all the other partygoers, and he starts giggling and laughing.

“And let me tell you, I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified.”

Crews said he wanted to react in defense but held himself back. Instead he told Sandler, who was also at the party, what had just happened and soon left with his wife.

The former football player, standing at 240 pounds, said that being a Black man especially one of his size and stature the night would’ve ended very differently had he responded with physical violence.

But previous conversations with his wife had prepared him for a moment like that, when he would want to react but have to force himself not to.

“She calmed me down, because she was the one who told me that this kind of thing would happen, and that you could be baited. If I would have just retaliated, in defense, I would be in jail right now. And that’s one thing I knew, that 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.”

Crews, who currently stars on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department last week. In a video recorded by TMZ he said he plans to file a lawsuit as well.

He rejected the common notion of victim blaming.

“I will not be shamed. I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong, nothing. And the whole deal is people are like, ‘Well, why didn’t you do this Why didn’t you do that’ You know what, why don’t you ask what he’s doing Why isn’t Adam Venit here right now, explaining his side”

His experience made him understand why many women wait to come forward or never come forward at all especially when they have been abused by someone in a position of power.

“When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war. Immediately, you’re in a camp because you’re trying to figure out when is the right time to come out When the guard turns their head, when they leave a door open. You’re digging tunnels with spoons, and you’re trying to find a way out, and you get out, and then you finally find freedom, and somebody says, ‘Well, it must not be that bad. You should’ve came out sooner.'”

Venit has reportedly been suspended as head of the Williams Morris Endeavor.

Crews is one of few men to come forward with allegations of sexual assault. He made his story public in October in a series of tweets but did not name Venit as his attacker. He said the allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that had come out just around that time made him recall his own experience.

I decided not 2 take it further becuz I didn’t want 2b ostracized par 4 the course when the predator has power n influence. (9/cont.)

I let it go. And I understand why many women who this happens to let it go. (10/cont.)

Who’s going 2 believe you ( few) What r the repercussions(many) Do u want 2 work again (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized(No)(11/cont.)

Hopefully, me coming forward with my story will deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless. (16/end)

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