As we heard about a month ago, actor Terry Crews was sexually assaulted by an agent from his own agency last year. Since he went public with his allegations, the agent has been named as Adam Venit. Venit was put on leave from William Morris Agency for his actions and Terry filed a police report against him last week and also cut all ties with William Morris Agency. Tuesday, Terry went on Good Morning America to tell the full account, which included exactly what happened at that party and why Terry decided to tell his story and file the charges in the wake of the Weinstein scandal.
Crews claims that Venit, the head of the motion picture department at WME, groped him while he was at an event with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, and Adam Sandler in February 2016. Venit is Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stallone’s agent.
“He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business,” Crews, 49, told Strahan. “I did not know this man. I have never had a conversation with him, ever. I knew of him … The first time I ever had an interaction with him was at this event.”
“I’m looking at him and he’s basically staring at me and he’s sticking his tongue. Just overtly sexual kind of tongue moves. It’s a party, it’s packed, the whole thing,” he continued. “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. 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?’”
Crews alleges that the behavior continued more than once. “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,” he said on GMA. “I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified. I went over to Adam [Sandler] right then and there and said, ‘Man, come get your boy. What is his problem?’” According to Crews, Sandler didn’t understand either because it was “bizarre to both of us.”
He added: “My wife is right there. He was acting so weird and so strange that I put myself in-between him and my wife.” Crews said he felt such rage at the time that he could “punch a hole” in Venit’s head.
“I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong. Nothing,” he said. “What kind of man would I be to tell my kids, ‘If someone touches you where you don’t want to, tell someone’ if I’m not doing it myself?”
The video is below. Terry’s description of Venit with his tongue gestures and laughing after Terry pushed him away – it’s awful. The fact that Venit did it in public makes me wonder what terrible things he did to others in private. Terry does a good job describing how trapped a person feels when something like this happens and how crushing it is when the first questions after they speak out are usually why didn’t they do it sooner. I also appreciate his metaphor about people choosing to stay silent to save their career, “your dreams, goals, aspirations are just as valuable as your children and when someone binds up your dream, and holds a gun to its head and says it’s going to kill it if you don’t do this, you don’t stay quiet, you don’t do that – it’s a hostage situation.” I think it’s a powerful way to describe the helplessness a person feels in these situations. I get so angry at people telling victims what they would have done if they’d been in that person’s shoes, which implies that there was a better way. It really isn’t the responsibility of the victim to justify how they processed something that happened to them. As Terry said to GMA, why is he sitting there defending when he spoke out and what motivated him to do so rather than Venit sitting there answering to his actions?
Photo credit: WENN Photos