Terry Crews is revealing more about the night he was allegedly sexually assaulted by WME’s Adam Venit. Speaking to host Phil McGraw on Wednesday’s episode of “Dr. Phil,” Crews and his wife Rebecca said the resulting scuffle — which took place at a party thrown by Adam Sandler — almost turned into a brawl.
According to Crews, he hadn’t met Venit, but had known of the agent — and was taken aback when, across the room at the crowded party, Venit was “sticking his tongue out to me, making very overtly sexual moves to me.”
Venit then came over to Crews, who reached out to shake his hand. That’s when, according to Crews, “he sticks his hand out and then he goes for my genitals. He grabs me, I smacked his hand back. I wanted to put all his teeth on the ground.”
Rebecca King Crews later offered more details: “Suddenly my husband backs into me, like his hips go backward, and he pushes this man through a sea of people. They went down like bowling pins. He pushes him, the guy comes back toward him. Terry has got ahold of both of the guy’s wrists. He calls out to Adam Sandler, ‘Hey Adam, come get your boy, what’s up with your boy?’ And pushes the guy again, and the guy gave up.”
Crews’ wife then asked Terry Crews what happened. “[He said,] ‘he grabbed my junk!’ He did what? I was just shocked.”
Terry Crews credited his wife for calming him down, and talking him out of getting into a fight. “There’s also a side i had to look at, as an African-American man in America, had I retaliated violently, what would have happened to me?” he said. “I know I would have been painted as a thug, and William Morris would have never had any mercy on me in regards to lawsuits. My career probably would have ended. I did the right thing.”
Crews said he told WME when it happened in February 2016, but nothing happened. Last October, in light of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations going public, Crews decided it was time to reveal his own experience. He tweeted about the event — without naming Venit — and said he immediately heard from WME.
“They said, ‘we didn’t know, Terry.’ Then why are you calling me? I didn’t mention anyone in the tweets,” he said. “When you start catching people in lies, when you see the gaslighting happen, this is what women have been going through for years. First of all, you wouldn’t even grab your pet like that. Why would you touch another human being like that?
“That’s what molesters count on, they do things publicly, out of the blue, you are totally off guard,” he said. “You’re wondering what’s happening. Is it me? What was I wearing? Did I bring this on myself? Once I decided to get rid of the shame, I was free. By coming out and saying what happened to me, it freed me. I tell people I did nothing wrong. And you have to continue to repeat this.”
In a statement to the “Dr. Phil” show, WME said, “An investigation was launched immediately after management was made aware of the situation in October of last year. The investigation resulted in Adam Venit being suspended without pay and demoted from his position as head of the motion picture department. We take all claims of misconduct seriously and take action based on the findings of a thorough investigation.”
Crews, however, took issue with the timing: “They say they were aware in October of last year, but I told them February of the year before when it happened,” he said. “Let’s say you didn’t know. Then you’re too stupid to run my career. That’s the real. But you’re not stupid and I’m not going to treat you like you’re stupid — and you can’t treat me like I’m stupid. So let’s talk about what’s really happening.”
The actor said that’s why he’s filing a lawsuit against Venit — and disagrees with the agent’s notion that it was just horseplay, and not sexual in nature. “You grab sexual parts, it’s instantly sexual,” he said.
Crews didn’t tell his wife that he was planning to reveal on Twitter what happened, and she did wonder if they might be run out of Los Angeles as a result.
“Retaliation is real,” Terry Crews said. “You know how many women spoke up and immediately or weeks later they were mysteriously fired? I told my wife, you know this may be it, we may have to leave.”
But Rebecca King Crews said she was right beside her husband: “We’re Wonder Woman and Superman. Bring it on.”