Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews sat down for an interview to detail an alleged sexual assault by Hollywood talent agent Adam Venit, and use the platform to say why he waited nearly two years to come forward.
According to Crews's allegation, which was made publicly in a Twitter on Oct. 10, Venit groped him when Crews extended his hand for a handshake while at at an event with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, in February 2016.
He declined to name the agent at the time, but during a Nov. 15 interview, he detailed the incident.
Venit, the head of the motion picture department of William Morris Endeavor, was only known to Crews as the representative for Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stalone.
While at the event, Crews said Venit made a suggestive gesture with his tongue before groping him.
“I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it, 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 party-goers and he starts giggling and laughing.
“I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified.”
Crews credited his wife for calming him down and giving him perspective.
As for why he waited so long before speaking out, Crews said he was worried no one would believe him. It took women coming forward with allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein for him to feel empowered to say something.
“He looked at me at the end, you know, as if (to say), ‘Who’s going to believe you?’” Crews said of Venit.
“When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war,” Crews said. “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.’
“A lot of people just don’t understand and they end up blaming the victim,” Crews continued. “And I have totally said I will not be shamed. I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong. Nothing.”
Crews also took those who blame victims to task for questioning those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.
“Why isn’t Adam Venit sitting here right now explaining his side?” Crews asked.
Deadline reported Monday that Venit returned to his desk after a 30-day suspension during which WME investigated Crews’s allegations against him. He is still able to serve as an agent, but does not have the title as the head of the agency’s Motion Picture Group.
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