Actor Terry Crews exclusively sat down with Good Morning America on Wednesday to talk about his alleged sexual assault by an Hollywood Exec, and how he felt “emasculated” after the agent groped him.
Crews spoke to host Michael Strahan about how former William Morris Endeavor executive Adam Venit groped him at a party in 2016.
“He’s Adam Sandler’s agent, he’s Sylvester Stallone’s agent, he’s Eddie Murphy’s agent, he’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business,” Crews told Strahan about Venit, who allegedly approached Crews and made lewd gestures before grabbing his crotch.
He further explained:
“I’m looking at him, and he’s basically staring at me, and he’s sticking his tongue out, and it’s overtly sexual kind of tongue moves,” he said. “I’m sitting there like, it’s a party, it’s packed…and I’m looking like, is this a joke?”
“He comes over to me, and I stick my hand out, and he literally takes his hand, and puts it, and squeezes my genitals,” he continued. “I jumped back, like, ‘Hey! Hey!’ and he’s still sticking his tongue out and all this stuff and I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing? What are you doing?’ And then he comes back again, he won’t stop, and I got forceful and pushed him back.”
“I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified, I was horrified. I went over to Adam (Sandler) right there, like, ‘Adam, Come get your boy’ … And he didn’t understand, it was bizarre to both of us.”
In the interview, Crews recognized the role that race played in the interaction and if he had resulted to violence how it would affect his standing in Hollywood and his family. Though, Venit had apologized to Crews on several occasions, the actor said it just wasn’t enough.
He went on to say that Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault scandal emboldened him to tell his story and gave him faith that fans would believe him.
“This guy, he’s one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, and he looked at me at the end, like, ‘Who’s going to believe you?'” Crews said about the assault. “I put it in the back of my head, and I understood why women everywhere had to let it go. But when the Weinstein thing started happened, I got PTSD. I was going, ‘Oh my god, this exact thing happened to me, I understand why they don’t come forward.'”
“When a person of power breaks that boundary, and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war. Immediately you’re in a camp, and 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, and you’re digging tunnels with spoons and trying to find a way out. And you get out, and finally find freedom, and someone says, ‘Well, it must not be that bad, you should’ve come out sooner’…and they end up blaming the victim. But I will not be shamed.”
Crews has since become an advocate to people who have been a victim of sexual assault and after filing a police report last week with the LAPD, he told a TMZ reported that he also plans to take legal action against Venit.