Wed, Dec 6 10:30 AM |Entertainment

Terry Crews Files Lawsuit Against Male Hollywood Executive Who Sexually Assaulted Him In Front Of His Wife

Terry Crews has filed a lawsuit against Hollywood agent Adam Venit over claims he sexually assaulted him at a Hollywood party. Crews filed the lawsuit on Tuesday against Venit, as well as the Williams Morris Endeavor agency for "permitting and encouraging" the sexually predatory conduct.

The actor's complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court states Crews was subjected to sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender violence and emotional distress during and after a Feb. 2016 incident. The former NFL star claims he was repeatedly groped by the celebrity agent.

The lawsuit alleges the agency knew Venit was predatory and condoned his behavior by failing to punish him for it.

The alleged sexual assault happened at a party Adam Sandler was hosting at Hutchinson's Restaurant in West Hollywood on Feb. 4, 2016. 

Crews, who had never met Venit before, could tell something was odd because the agent was staring at him "like a rabid dog" — and, instead of shaking his hand, grabbed his genitals. Crews pushed him and yelled, but Venit continued the behavior.

The legal filing states, "Crews smacked Venit's hand away and shoved him back more forcefully than before, screaming 'Hey! What are you doing?!' two or three times, but Venit ignored everything Crews was saying and continued to try to grab Crews' genitals."

Crews stated that he told his agent, Brad Slater, about the assault the following day. However, WME did not take any action.

The "Brooklyn Nine Nine" star claims the company culture encourages agents to act aggressively in furtherance of its reputation as an industry powerhouse and has an "unspoken policy of not punishing executives and agents for misconduct." 

The actor believes the agency has ignored Venit's "long history of bizarre behavior" and predatory acts because of the agent's success in representing celebrity clients.

According to the complaint, Venit called Crews and apologized, claiming "he was just not himself that night." 

The actor says his agent told him that WME would address the incident, but never received word of any punishment. Crews revealed he stopped attending WME events to avoid running into Venit, which he says likely had a negative impact on his career. 

Venit recently served a one-month paid suspension before being reinstated with WME, and was demoted from his position as head of the motion picture department. Crews feels the suspension was nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

"Given the history of inaction by WME and the retaliatory actions that have occurred and likely will occur, Crews had no choice [but] to bring this action to protect himself and to stand up for all victims of sexual predators," the lawsuit states. "After all, if Crews, a 6'4", muscled, man, former professional athlete, with a long list of entertainment industry credits, can be the victim of sexual assault at the hands of a much more powerful individual in the entertainment industry, anyone can be a victim."

Crews claims in his lawsuit that Venit, Emanuel and other agency executives have since tried to silence him and hurt his career.

"Crews had no choice by to bring this action to protect himself and to stand up for all victims of sexual predators," the suit says. "Through this case, Crews seeks to send a message to all abusers and sexual predators, that, no matter how powerful you are, you can be held accountable for your reprehensible misconduct and so will the companies that cover up your disgusting misdeeds."

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