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“Back in February 2016, I was assaulted by Adam Venit, who is head of the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest agencies in the world, period,” Crews revealed to GMA.
Despite the fact that the agent represents Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stallone, Crews said he was unaware of who Venit was. While at a party with his wife last year, Crews recalled the “bizarre” moment he had with Venit, who he said directed tongue movements at him.
“I’m looking like, ‘Is this a joke?’… It was actually so bizarre,” the actor explained. “He comes over to me. I stick my hand out, and he literally takes his hand and puts it and squeezes my genitals. I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey.’”
After Crews saw Venit continue with the tongue gestures, the actor asked what the agent was doing, only for him to pester on and giggle. Crews then explained that he pushed Venit away, causing the agent to bump into other partygoers.
“I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified,” Crews said. The actor also revealed that he even put himself between Venit and his wife, because it was so uncomfortable.
“It’s so bizarre. I wake up every morning wondering, ‘Did this really happen?'” Crews said. He then explained the “rage” he felt afterward, “When I looked at him, it was rage. I felt like I could punch a hole in his head.”
Listening to his wife’s advice to handle himself without violence, Crews and his wife left the party, where she helped calm him down.
On Nov. 8, Crews filed a police report over the incident.
“People need to be held accountable,” Crews said. “This is the deal about Hollywood. It is an abuse of power. This guy, again, he’s one of the most powerful man in Hollywood, and he looked at me at the end as if, ‘Who is going to believe you?’”
The actor admits he felt as if no one would believe the validity of his story and understands why women have taken so long to speak out against their assaulters. After experiencing “PTSD” as women made allegations about Harvey Weinstein, Crews knew it was time to come forward.
Crews explained: “When a person of power breaks that boundary…you are a prisoner of war. You’re in a camp, because you’re trying to figure out when is the right time to come out…. Then you finally find freedom and someone says, ‘Well it must not be that bad. You should’ve came out sooner.'”
The actor revealed he now feels “free,” disregarding anyone with a “blame the victim” mentality. “This is the thing that a lot of people just don’t understand and they end up blaming the victim. I have totally said I will not be shamed. I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong. Nothing.”
Crews also credits his family for giving him the courage and motivation to speak out. “I said, ‘Man, 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, tell someone,’ and then I don’t do it,” Crews 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.”
The Brooklyn 99 actor is recognized as one of the first male stars to come forward with his own sexual harassment story, following the many women speaking out against their alleged assaulters. He first told his story in a series of tweets, where he revealed a Hollywood talent agent “groped” him.
Venit has since been suspended following the claim.
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