— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 15, 2017
Terry Crews has officially named the Hollywood agent who sexually assaulted him. The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor said Adam Venit, who is on leave from WME, groped him in front of his wife at a party last year. The unwanted sexual contact, Crews said, left him feeling more emasculated than he has in his whole life.
“Back in February 2016, I was assaulted by Adam Venit, who is head of the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest agencies in the world, period,” Crew tells “Good Morning America” Wednesday, Nov. 15. “What was wild is that my wife and I were at an event with Adam Sandler …. He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business. This is the thing — I did not know this man. I have never had a conversation with him, ever.”
Crews said the first time he had an interaction with Venit, who had been rumored to be the agent Crews referred to on Twitter in October, was at the 2016 event.
“I’m looking at him and he’s basically staring at me and sticking his tongue out and is just [doing] overtly sexual tongue moves …. and I’m looking like, ‘Is this a joke?'” Crews explains. “I don’t understand. It was actually so bizarre. He comes over to me, I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it, squeezes my genitals. And I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey!’ and he’s still [sticking] his tongue out and all this stuff and I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing?’”
Crews alleges Venit wouldn’t stop and the actor “got forceful” and pushed him back. Venit, whose clients include Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler and Diane Keaton, bumped into other party-goers. Crews said Venit just laughed.
“I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified,” Crews says. “I was horrified. I went over to Adam [Sandler] right then and there and said, ‘Man, come get your boy. What is his problem?’”
The former NFL player and his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, left the party after half an hour and Crews said he felt rage when he looked at Venit. He credits King-Crews for calming him down. Years ago, she told him he could be a target.
“That’s one thing I knew, being a large African-American man in America, that I would be seen as a thug,” he says of what would happen if he retaliated. “But I’m not a thug, I’m an artist.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, Crews filed a police report against Venit and tells GMA people “need to be held accountable.”
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As for questions about why Crews didn’t speak out sooner, he says the question needs to focus on Venit.
“When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war,” he says.
“This is the thing that a lot of people just don’t understand and they end up blaming the victim,” he said. “I have totally said, ‘I will not be shamed.’ I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong. Nothing. … Why don’t you ask what he’s doing? Why isn’t Adam Venit sitting here right now explaining his side?”
“I knew instantly that I had to tell my story so that other people could be free,” he added.
Since Crews filed his report, the Los Angeles Police Department has opened an investigation into his allegation, a spokesperson confirmed to Variety Thursday, Nov. 9.
Venit was suspended from WME after the agency led an internal investigation. Crews has since left WME, too.
In response to the comedian’s interview, many people have praised Crews’ openness.
Thank you @crews_terry Children, teens, adults both male and female will no longer stand quiet! Crucify the perp not the victim.
— Nona’s Momma (@TamRosWal) November 15, 2017
Very powerful interview I glad Terry spoke up and expose sexual abuse among the celebrities 👍🏾🙏🏾
— April Johnson (@AprilIssosweet) November 15, 2017
I Could Not Agree More…
People DO NEED To Be Held Accountable. Period.
— Nikki (@AtxGirlnScrubbs) November 15, 2017
Individuals affected by sexual assault or abuse were especially thankful to Crews.
I’m crying as I hear this very powerful interview I close my eyes & hear my 27 yr old son voice he just remembered this yr being molested rape at 10 by cousin he courageous confronted his abuser found his voice will speak out
— Christine Rotz (@christine_rotz) November 15, 2017
He gave voice to feelings that I have had for years. Bravo Terry!!!!
— Jean Oristano (@jean_oristano) November 15, 2017
After watching your interview, seeing a powerful man as yourself. I was able to publicly share my experience of being sexuality assaulted as a child at summer camp on Facebook today. Thank you for being a voice…………
— chad fava (@cwf62777) November 15, 2017