Terry Crews on his assault: ‘I have never felt more emasculated, I was horrified’

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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?”

[From Us]

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?

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Photo credit: WENN Photos

 

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34 Responses to “Terry Crews on his assault: ‘I have never felt more emasculated, I was horrified’”

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  1. Handwoven says:

    Goodness, that made me tear up.
    Something so amazing about watching these two big, athletic men discuss it without no shame, as well.

    Terry Crews is such a babe.

    • emma33 says:

      Yeah, very moving. Thank you Terry for speaking out like this, I think it is such an important thing that boys and men can see other men speaking out about harassment and abuse. Many years ago I dealt with a male victim of rape as part of work I did with asylum seekers, I will never, ever forget the interactions I had with him and the shame and confusion he felt (I was the first person he told). I really applaud Terry for speaking out!!

  2. detritus says:

    i wish this never happened, but I love that Terry is speaking out. Having such a strong man be a face of sexual violence shows that it can impact anyone.
    ❤️ Terry. People, you missed your chance this year, how about next?

  3. Mia4s says:

    Good man Terry. Venit (currently still an agent at WME it should be said) should face severe consequences and questioning. You are 100% in the right.

    If WME keeps him on I’m thinking UTA and CAA (although maybe not since it looks like they were complicit without Weinstein), so UTA, will be seeing an influx of new clients.

  4. monette says:

    I love love love Terry! Honk for the Hunk!

  5. TheOtherOne says:

    100% agree re 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?

    I now have tremendous appreciation of Terry Crew and his amazing wife who was a supportive ally during this whole process.

  6. Odetta says:

    It’s times like these that you learn a lot about people you thought you knew. I’ve had to delete people off my social media accounts for victim blaming, “if it was me, I would have…blah blah blah.” You never know how you will react unless you are in the situation yourself. Love terry crews, so glad he’s standing up for himself and others.

    • detritus says:

      Exactly.
      “You should have screamed in his face and slapped him, I would have done that (subtext that’s why I’ve never been assaulted )”
      It’s so much easier to believe your specialness protects you instead of luck.

    • Tryannosarahs says:

      I believe in another interview he said he was worried that if he hit Venit, or more forcefully defended himself, the media would smear him because he’s an extremely large and athletic African American man hitting a white homosexual Hollywood agent. Which makes me SO sad.

      What WE think we would do isn’t what we would even do, and there are varied circumstances.

      I’m really so glad Terry is standing up for himself and speaking out in light of his abuse.

    • Lilly says:

      2017 the year of deleting, blocking and cancelling so many. When I’m blocking etc. I always think that I’m glad to see the true colors of people and get them out of my life. But, also the year of learning how many amazing allies are out there – courageous, warrior types who I adore and might never have known before this horrible year.

  7. Louise177 says:

    By the looks of him It would be so easy to dismiss Terry as a dumb jock. But he speaks so eloquently. To me he said it best of how victims feel and why they don’t come forward.

  8. Hmm.... says:

    I really, really appreciate the hostage analogy. Since these stories started coming out, it breaks my heart to think of how many people had promising careers or were on their way up – maybe not to super stardom, but enough to actually make a living, you know? And of course there are no guarantees. You shoot for the star and see what happens. We’re all aware of the bad things that can happen: we might never take off, we might come down with a debilitating illness, financial plans fall through, a movie doesn’t get a big marketing push, etc. Hell, even accidents are something some people imagine may happen. Shit happens. Sometimes it’s no one’s fault.

    But this f***ing is. Getting raped or harassed is, and what’s more, it just seems so absurd to me that with some jobs, it’s an occupational hazard. I know we’re all vulnerable to sexual assault no matter what the environment is, but OMG, I can’t get over how prevalent it is in the entertainment world.

    But who actually goes out to the world and tries their best at their job pondering on the possibility that it might all go sideways because of a sexual assault? How impossibly awful must it be to know that your career took a turn that it might never recover from because you crossed paths with a predator? Either because they destroy you professionally or because your devastation over what happens ends up messing you up for years if not the rest of your life.

    I have such contempt for the people who preyed on others and indescribable disgust for a system that safeguards these awful human beings.

    I commend Terry Crews for telling his story. I am also extremely appreciative of how articulate he is, because it helps those of us who have been harassed or assaulted relate.

    • emma33 says:

      Great post! Whe I read Brian Cranston’s comments yesterday about Winestein and Spacey maybe being able to work their way back, my thought was, ‘well, what about all the careers they destroyed? Will those talented people get to get their careers, hope, and innocence back?’ When you destroy people like they have, you don’t get a come-back.

      • detritus says:

        you know who i’d rather have a comeback? Brenden Fraser. He’s never been accused of anything. He can take all Spacey roles moving forwards.

      • Handwoven says:

        Exactly. We need to stop this oh-so-tragic discussion of the “art that can’t be enjoyed anymore, woe is me because I can’t watch Chinatown”, and think really hard about the amazing men and women who have been pushed out of creative industries – and ALL industries – by this behavior.

        We’re probably missing actors and actresses 10 times as good as Spacey will ever be, comedians 100 times as funny as Louis CK, singers, painters, dancers, scientists, technological wizards, political geniuses, etc., because someone’s abuse dimmed their enthusiasm for their industry.

  9. Snowflake says:

    His wife sounds really amazing. Sad that she knew he would be in a situation where he would be targeted or baited. And she told him she was proud of him, that was just so sweet. I love Terry Crews, his speaking out will make it easier for other victims.

  10. Talie says:

    Dopey Wendy Williams was making fun of him on her show yesterday. Ugh…

  11. BJ says:

    I Googled some of this guy’s clients Emma Stone,Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler,Diane Keaton…I had never heard of this guy but I am sure he used that power to abuse and silence people.I wonder if any of his powerful clients will drop him if more victims come forward.
    BTW I am so tired of people saying what they would have done and talking about Terry’s physique.Or bringing up characters he has played in comedies to say he has harassed men in movies.Movies vs real life, PEOPLE!

  12. LilSuzi says:

    If Terry Crews, a mature man and former NFL linebacker, was horrified and emasculated by this incident, I can only imagine how devastated the pre-adolescent boys who are routinely abused must feel.

  13. Aud says:

    I don’t mean to derail, but he’s totally flipping off the photographers in that first photo. European 2 fingered salute!

  14. Frida_K says:

    I love this. I need to sit on my thoughts and feelings about it…there’s so much to say. I feel like he spoke words that so many wish that they could say, myself included. Right here, we have it: the refusal to be shamed even after being so stunned, confused, boxed in, angry, all of it…but here and now, speaking up and refusing to deny any of his thoughts and feelings. He has courage in his convictions and he is speaking not just for himself, but for those who had that courage knocked out of them, torn away, obliterated.

    Wow.

    Powerful. Amazing.

    Necessary.

  15. Monica says:

    Terrible. His family is beautiful.

  16. paddingtonjr says:

    I hope this interview is shown in training classes for law enforcement, counselors, hospital employees and others working with those who have been harassed, assaulted or abused. He articulated the emotions and doubts of such an experience so well. I’m sorry this happened to him and his family, but I applaud him for speaking out and showing (sadly) that no one is immune to being harassed or assaulted; it doesn’t matter how you are dressed, whether you’re sober or intoxicated, what you look like or whether you’re in a hotel room or at a large party with friends, your spouse and colleagues.

    Thank you, Terry, for giving a voice to those who may be too ashamed or traumatized to speak for themselves. You and your wife are wonderful role models and I wish you continued success.

  17. Fred w says:

    The agent who did this to Terry has a wife and kids. I feel sorry for them

  18. Vox says:

    I believe him and I’m glad he’s speaking out. It’s hard for anyone to report sexual assault but it’s especially under-reported by male victims. I really respect his candor and lack of shame, because he has nothing to be ashamed of.