Adam Venit Exiting WME as Agency Reaches Settlement With Terry Crews

Adam Venit -onstage at the OF BY FOR Awards -serious - Getty - H 2018
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"Terry Crews, Adam Venit and WME have settled the lawsuit Mr. Crews filed last year," the agency said.

Adam Venit is planning to leave WME. The news comes 10 months after actor Terry Crews publicly named him as the Hollywood executive who sexually assaulted him at a party last year.

"Terry Crews, Adam Venit and WME have settled the lawsuit Mr. Crews filed last year. It will be dismissed," the agency said Thursday a statement. 

Venit had privately been identified as Crews' assailant and was subsequently put on leave on Nov. 3 by the agency, which represented Crews until the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star fired WME on Nov. 9. The actor was not one of Venit's clients.

"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," alleged the complaint from Crews' attorney, Bryan Sullivan. filed on Dec. 4.

WME responded in its own filing in late January, "The facts are these: The day after the alleged incident, Mr. Crews mentioned it to no one at WME other than his agent, who nevertheless immediately raised it with Mr. Venit."

WME had said upper management was unaware of the incident with Crews until the actor tweeted about it on Oct. 10. An investigation was then conducted and found that Venit's behavior was an isolated event. In addition to being suspended without pay for a month, Venit was demoted from his department-head position.

Crews was one of the first men to come forward with his story of sexual harassment or assault after the New York Times and New Yorker's Harvey Weinstein exposés ushered in a wave of reports of similar behavior across the industry. "This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME," Crews tweeted on Oct. 10. "My wife and I were at a Hollywood function last year and a high-level Hollywood executive came over to me and groped my privates."

Crews filed a police report on Nov. 8 and the Los Angeles Police Department opened an investigation into the incident. In March, the Los Angeles city attorney stated that the "matter was referred to our office and was subsequently declined due to the lapse in statute of limitations for misdemeanor cases."

Venit's clients at WME included Adam Sandler, Diane Keaton, Eddie Murphy, Kevin James, Rob Lowe, Shawn Levy, Steve Martin, Sylvester Stallone and Vince Vaughn, as well as Brett Ratner and Dustin Hoffman, who are facing sexual misconduct allegations of their own.

Sept. 7, 10:56 p.m. An earlier version of this story stated that WME's investigation last fall found that Venit's behavior was indicative of a pattern. The agency has said the opposite is true, and the story has been edited.