Last month, Terry Crews came forward to reveal that sexual assault doesn’t just happen to women in Hollywood. He was assaulted by a high-level executive just last year.
In a sit-down with Michael Strahan of Good Morning America, the former NFL player and actor shared the incident, which led to him filing a report to the Los Angeles Police Department against a “high-level Hollywood executive," reported People.
Crews had previously declined to share the identity of his alleged actor, but he refused to be cowed any longer. In an interview on Wednesday, Crews, 49, named his alleged assailant as Adam Venit.
Venit is the head of the motion picture department at William Morris Endeavor (WME) and an agent to many celebrities. He reportedly went on leave from the company earlier this month. WME confirmed to ABC News that the agent “has been suspended following the internal investigation into the matter.”
“He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business,” Crews explained.
Crews said Venit behaved strangely the first time they met. They ran into each other at a party in February 2016.
“I’m looking at him, and he’s basically staring at me,” said the actor. “And he’s sticking his tongue out, and it’s overtly sexual kind of tongue moves. I’m sitting there like, it’s a party, it’s packed, the whole thing, and I’m looking like, is this a joke?”
Crews continued, “I don’t understand, it was actually so bizarre, and he keeps coming over to me. and I stick my hand out, and he literally takes his hand, and puts it, and squeezes my genitals. I jumped back, like ‘Hey! Hey!’ and he’s still licking his tongue out, and all this stuff and I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing? What are you doing?'”
Unfortunately, the interaction, which happened in front of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star’s wife, didn’t end there. Crews said Venit approached him again, and that’s when he had enough.
“Then he comes back again, and he just won’t stop,” he said. “Then I really got forceful, pushed him back. He bumps into all the other party-goers and he starts giggling and laughing—and let me tell you, I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified.”
Crews said the presence of his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, was the only thing that kept him from getting physical.
“When I looked at him, it was rage. And when I say rage, I felt like I could punch a hole in his head,” Crews said of Venit. “But this is the deal, my wife told me three years earlier, ‘Terry, you can never handle any situation like this with violence. You are a target. You can be baited and pulled.”
The former NFL player kept his temper under control, but he adds that he “almost ripped the steering wheel off” of his car as he drove home. He also notes that his wife reassured him that she was proud of him for his restraint.
“That’s one thing I knew—being a large African American man in America—I would immediately be seen as a thug,” he said.
Crews said he brushed aside the assault until Harvey Weinstein put assault and harassment in the news. When he saw all the women coming forward, he felt compelled to speak out for himself.
“When the Weinstein thing started happening, I got PTSD,” he said. “I was going, ‘Oh my god, this exact thing happened to me. I understand why they won’t come forward.’ And I’m gonna tell you, a lot of times people go, ‘Why didn’t you come forward sooner?’ When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war.”
Crews also said he will not be asked why he didn’t come forward sooner. He’s adamant that he did nothing wrong, and he wants to stand up for the women who didn’t speak up sooner—women who are called liars for their silence.
“I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong, nothing,” he said.
He continued, “What kind of man would I be to tell my kids, ‘If someone touches you where you don’t want to be touched, tell someone,’ and then I don’t do it?” he said. “Let me tell you something, it freed me. I knew instantly that I had to tell my story so that other people could be free.”