Terry Crews has opened up about his experience with sexual assault.
The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star told Michael Strahan Wednesday on “Good Morning America” that he had never “felt more emasculated, more objectified” than after allegedly being groped at a party in 2016 by Adam Venit, the longtime head of WME’s motion picture group.
“He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business,” Crews said about the agent, who represents Emma Stone, Adam Sandler, Diane Keaton, Eddie Murphy, and others. “I did not know this man. I have never had a conversation with him, ever. … The first time I ever had an interaction with him was at this event.”
Crews said Venit, who he had never met before, stared at him from a distance and stuck out his tongue in an “overtly sexual” manner before approaching him.
“I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it, squeezes my genitals,” he recalled. “And I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey!’ … I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing?’”
The former NFL player says Venit repeated the behavior.
“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 on “GMA.” “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?’”
The actor said by speaking out, he’s sending a message to his children.
“I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong. Nothing,” he said. “What kind of man would I be to tell my kids, ‘If someone touches you where you don’t want to, tell someone,’ if I’m not doing it myself?”
Crews first tweeted about the incident when the Harvey Weinstein scandal was unraveling.
“When the Weinstein thing started happening I got PTSD. I was going, ‘Oh my god, this exact thing happened to me,’” he said. “I understand why they won’t come forward. … When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war.”
The Los Angeles Police Department recently opened an investigation over Crews’ allegation that he was groped.
Venit is on leave as WME investigates the accusation. Crews recently left the agency altogether.