Terry Crews is suing WME and their still-employed agent, Adam Venit, for assault

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A lot of people on Twitter wished Terry Crews had been included in the cover of Time’s Person of the Year issue. I’d have liked that powerful image but I’m also okay with the cover going to all women. Terry was still featured prominently, however, which is good. On Monday, we touched on the fact that not much has come of Terry’s accusations against Adam Venit. To catch anyone up, Terry revealed that Venit, a powerful agent at William Morris Endeavor, grabbed his genitals at a party in February 2016. When the Weinstein accusations broke, Terry told his story for the first time on Twitter. Since then, he’s appeared on GMA and Nightline and filed a police report. Venit was given a one-month (likely paid) suspension and a demotion. Since Venit returned to work, Terry’s case has basically stalled so now he is making the one move he has left, which is to sue both Venit and WME.

If a strong, successful actor can be the victim of sexual assault in Hollywood, then anyone can. That’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews’ closing thought in his assault and battery lawsuit against WME and Adam Venit, which he filed after feeling the agent wasn’t properly held accountable for repeatedly grabbing his genitals at a Hollywood party.

“Venit, upon his first meeting Crews, viciously grabbed Crews’ penis and testicles so hard that it caused Crews immediate pain in a blatant and unprovoked sexual assault,” writes attorney Bryan Sullivan in the complaint, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Crews says he told his then-agent Brad Slater of the assault the next day but WME took no action. He claims the company culture encourages agents to act aggressively in furtherance of its reputation as an industry powerhouse and has an “unspoken policy of not punishing executives and agents for misconduct.”

The alleged assault happened at a party Sandler was hosting at Hutchinson’s Restaurant in West Hollywood on Feb. 4, 2016. Crews had never met Venit, but was looking forward to meeting him that night because he believed the agent had the power to boost his career.

Crews says he knew something was wrong immediately because Venit was staring at him “like a rabid dog” — and, instead of shaking his hand, grabbed his genitals. The actor shoved him and yelled, according to the complaint, but Venit continued the behavior.

“Crews smacked Venit’s hand away and shoved him back more forcefully than before, screaming ‘Hey! What are you doing?!’ two or three times, but Venit ignored everything Crews was saying and continued to try to grab Crews’ genitals,” writes Sullivan. “Crews kept Venit at arm’s length and turned to Sandler to get his attention, yelling, ‘Adam, come get your boy! He’s grabbing my nuts!’”

Sandler shook his head in disbelief, Crews says, while Venit giggled and smirked. Afterward, Sandler called to check on Crews and find out more of what had happened and apologized for the incident.

According to the complaint, after Crews reported the assault to Slater, Venit called and apologized, claiming “he was just not himself that night.” The actor says he was assured by his agent that WME would address the issue, but never received word of any punishment. He stopped going to WME events and taking meetings at its office to avoid running into Venit, which he says likely had a negative impact on his career.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Crews is suing, “for assault, battery, sexual battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and negligent retention and supervision.” Every time I read about his incident, it gets worse. I’d forgotten that Venit grabbed for Terry several times. As it states, Venit was forced to call Terry with an apology yet when he returned from his suspension to WME, Venit, “made a tearful apology to staff at the agency’s morning meeting, according to sources.” So, to his victim he was just “not himself,” but to the agency that swept his crime under the rug, he was truly remorseful. This all makes me so sad. Why do victims have to work so hard for justice? As this article on Pajiba thoughtfully discusses, the backlash against Terry is terrible. I applaud Terry for standing his ground. He, like so many others who have spoken up, has everything to lose in this fight. The deck is stacked high against him and he knows that. But he’s doing what is right, regardless of consequences. I stand with Terry.

Not only is he doing what’s right, he’s keeping a sense of humor about it too:

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Photo credit: Twitter and WENN Photos

 

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33 Responses to “Terry Crews is suing WME and their still-employed agent, Adam Venit, for assault”

  1. d says:

    It is appalling how he is being treated. Wishing him every success.

  2. OOOHH! says:

    I pray he defeats that vermin on all grounds.

  3. IlsaLund says:

    I hope Terry is successful. He understands the forces that are aligned against him and he still forges forward…a brave man. I read somewhere that Terry took the letter the head of WWE wrote against Mel Gibson and substituted Venit’s name. The WWE executive told Terry his case wasn’t the same as Mel’s. What a hypocrite.

    Hollywood and industry will never change until things impact what matter most to them…..the ability to make money.

  4. Nicole says:

    This is why people of color get mad when movements are coopted because they always get silenced. Time after time the world continually proves that the only people that will protect us is us. How is it that MeToo was started by a black woman and yet we only have one victim of color in this Hollywood blowup? It’s a travesty.

  5. Margo S. says:

    I love Terry! I’m so proud of him. So strong and amazing. Lol “I’m rich”. Love it!

  6. kaye says:

    Thank you, Terry.
    With you, Terry.

  7. OriginalLala says:

    My hubby has always adored Terry Crews, I love him in Brooklyn 911 but I will now make a concerted effort to watch everything he is in to support him in the small way that I can.

  8. Tan says:

    Maybe we should run an online campaign to support him

    There should be a strong smear campaign already running against him.

    And the status quo people have already closed ranks.

    Maybe time to show people care?

  9. minx says:

    I just love him. So sorry he has to go through this.

  10. Surely Wolfbeak says:

    “[UNKNOWN MALE] Supporting Lead Male (35-59) Intelligent, but can throw a punch. Open ethnicity. Sounds like he may be tied to a well-known character.”

    Looks like they’re casting Rick Jones for Captain Marvel. Time to start a campaign for Terry Crewes, nerds!

  11. The Original Mia says:

    Take them down, Terry! He was assaulted. Repeatedly. And his attacker, like so many attackers, got a slap on the wrist.

  12. Otaku fairy says:

    The fact that all he got was a suspension and having to cry some tears after HE assaulted someone is insane. Hope Terry wins the lawsuit.

  13. Snowflake says:

    Go, Terry, go! Do you guys think Venit would have been fired if he grabbed a woman by the p? I think so. He should have been fired.

    Also a lot of people just want to move on and try to forget the sexual assault. So don’t hold it against them if they don’t come forward.

  14. Cherrypie32 says:

    I admire him for standing up for himself even with the odds stacked against him and wish him every bit of success going forward.

  15. Sky says:

    Good for him and I hope he wins his lawsuit.

  16. Annie says:

    “Sandler shook his head in disbelief, Crews says, while Venit giggled and smirked. Afterward, Sandler called to check on Crews and find out more of what had happened and apologized for the incident.”

    This is not enough. He needs to fire him and publicly distance himself from that guy. This is what being complicit looks like. You allow this shit. You shake your head. And then do nothing. This isn’t right. I’ve been in this position. Sexually harassed publicly in a group of so called friends. And the creeper’s friends just shook their heads. But they said and did NOTHING. And the creep stays being a creep because he never faces any consequences. Nobody unfriende him, you as his victim have to unfriend everyone else to not hang out in the same circle again. Why is it so hard to do the right thing? Why is it so hard to stand up to these kinds of people and why do so many guys continue associating themselves with men like these?

    Men have failed us all, tbh. I’m glad Terry is fighting and I’m glad he’s rich enough to sue. I support him 100%. But generally speaking, men have not done a good job calling out disgusting men and try to change toxi masculinity until it happens to them. Us women have been left all alone. They simply do not take care of us as they should, so I’m glad the Time cover was given to only women. Standing up for yourself as a woman is infinitely much harder. And men do not do enough to help fellow men change. All they do is scream NOT ALL MEN. They never call each other out, they do not do enough. Nothing they have done is remotely good enough. It takes for one of them to be in our shoes to do something about it and understand how bad this is.

    • lucy2 says:

      Right? I didn’t realize at first that Sandler had actually witnessed it. If I witnessed my agent doing that, I would have fired him on the spot. I did see someone circulating a list of all the people Crews’ assaulter still represents. I hope every single one of them drops him, but I know they won’t.

  17. Wilma says:

    He really is the best. What a great role model for men and women he is. I hope he feels that he is supported even if Hollywood itself has been silent. I understand the cast and crew of Brooklyn 99 have been very vocal in their support (love that show and everyone on it).

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