Terry Crews is not only one of our favorite actors and comedians, but also one of the first #MeToo stories to bravely come out of Hollywood.
Ever since the name of the anonymous culprit in his story went viral, Crews has been moving full speed ahead with a civil lawsuit and criminal complaint against the agent he claims groped him at a party in 2016.
For the civil suit, TMZ is reporting that Adam Venit, the accused WME agent, has filed a stipulation with his lawyers. The stipulation asks for Crews to provide a 7-hour mental health examination before continuing to proceed.
According to TMZ, both parties have agreed to the terms and a specifically named doctor for the event. The exam will reportedly include a “comprehensive psycho-social and medical history and the administration of mental status testing and psychological testing.”
Crews #MeToo Moment
Crews came forward with disturbing details about the sexual assault he claims he endured from the high-powered agent who reps Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy among others, on Good Morning America in November, 2017.
“He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business,” he said. “I did not know this man. I have never had a conversation with him, ever. I knew of him…The first time I ever had an interaction with him was at this event.
He went on to describe the disgusting behavior that followed.
“I’m looking at him and he’s basically staring at me and he’s sticking his tongue out. Just overtly sexual kind of tongue moves. It’s a party, it’s packed, the whole thing,” he explained. “And I’m looking like, ‘Is this a joke? I don’t understand.’ It was actually so bizarre. And he keeps coming over to me. I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it, squeezes my genitals. And I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey!’ … I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing?’”
Shockingly, the unwanted advances didn’t stop there.
“And then he comes back again and he just won’t stop. And then I really got forceful, pushed him back, he bumps into all the other partygoers and he starts giggling and laughing,” he said. “I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified. I went over to Adam (Sandler) right then and there and said, ‘Man, come get your boy. What is his problem?’”
Controversy and Backlash
Crews went on to say that he believes executives at WME Entertainment, the talent agency founded by the alleged abuser, Venit, asked Russell Simmons to “pressure” him into dropping his sexual assault case.
Crews had publicly described a private tweet he received from Simmons that asked him to “give the agent a pass.”
“Somehow they thought he was the ‘King of Black people’,” he wrote of Simmons, before adding, “Someone hacked into the computer my son and I built together. I have to shut it down and replace the hard drive.”
What’s more, Crews suggested that Venit or his agency could have a hand in seeking harm against him.
“LAPD task force detectives let me know these people don’t play fair. There are a lot of secrets to protect, and they will do anything to keep them. The town is compromised,” he wrote.
“But me, and my team, are not. If I were to have a timely ‘accident’— you know where to look. Retaliation in some form is expected- I would be naive to think otherwise…But vulnerability and openness is actually my best protection. I’m ready.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Crews says WME had ignored Venit’s “long history of bizarre behavior” because he had done so well for the agency representing an A-list roster of talent. Although WME did ultimately suspend Venit for a month and hit him with a demotion, Crews doesn’t believe that is enough to make up for what happened to him.
After weeks of silence, the agency issued a response saying that they didn’t just stand by and do nothing as Crews claims.
“That same day [after the initial incident], Mr. Venit called Mr. Crews and apologized. Mr. Crews accepted the apology and then told the only two WME employees to whom he had spoken about the incident that everything was okay. That was the last mention Mr. Crews made of the incident to anyone at WME for nearly 18 months — during which time he remained a WME client. That is no surprise since, as Mr. Crews admitted in his later Tweets, he had ‘decided not to take it further’ and ‘let it go.’”
WME also implied that it was unfair for Crews to put himself in the #MeToo movement.
By going public with his story, WME believes that Crews added himself in the same category as the men and women who have repeatedly endured sexual harassment and assault in order to keep their livelihoods intact while powers that be looked the other way.
The agency went on to say that it had acted swiftly by meeting with Crews and encouraged him to tell his story when he went public. Therefore, they claimed, they were not liable for what happened.
WME suspended Venit without pay for one month and demoted him.