In October, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews tweeted that he was sexually assaulted by a “high-level” Hollywood executive at a party in front of numerous guests. At the time, he chose not to name his alleged assaulter — who he claims groped him in the crotch and laughed — but he ultimately came forward on Wednesday morning to name the man and speak about his disturbing experience in an interview with Good Morning America.
Talking with Michael Strahan, Crews recounted the events that he claims led Adam Venit, head of the motion picture department and a top agent at William Morris Endeavor, to commit this alleged assault. “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. I’m sitting there like, it’s a party, it’s packed, the whole thing, and I’m like, is this a joke?” Crews explained, according to People. “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 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?'”
Though Venit reportedly backed off after the first assault, Crews said that he returned again to continue his harassment. “Then I really got forceful, pushed him back,” he explained. “He bumps into all the other partygoers and he starts giggling and laughing — and let me tell you, I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified.”
Although Crews says he was initially tempted to fight back with violence, he chose to step away from the situation for fear of professional or social retaliation, particularly when considering the prevalence of racism in this country: “That’s one thing I knew — being a large African-American man in America, I would immediately be seen as a thug.”
Crews never intended to publicly share his experience, but was encouraged to with the newfound onslaught of stories from women about their allegations of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood — especially at the hands of powerful men such as Harvey Weinstein. “When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war,” he concluded. “I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong, nothing.”
In response to Crews’s story, Venit is currently “on leave” from William Morris Endeavor, with an internal investigation reportedly pending.
- Terry Crews Reveals Alleged Assault By “High-Level” Executive
- A Running List of Women Who Have Publicly Accused Harvey Weinstein
- A Note to Survivors Who Aren’t Ready to Share Their Sexual Assaults
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