The actor of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" claims that the WME agent sexually assaulted him several times during a Hollywood party in 2016.
If a strong and successful actor can be the victim of a sexual assault in Hollywood, then anyone can do it. That's Brooklyn Nine-Nine the final thought of Terry Crews in his assault and battery lawsuit against WME and Adam Venit, which he presented after feeling that the agent was not responsible for repeatedly grabbing his genitals in Hollywood
After the Harvey Weinstein scandal created a defining moment to address harassment in the entertainment industry, Crews presented its own version of an alleged assault in 2016.
"Venit, in their first meeting Crews, Crews battered "Penis and testicles so hard that they caused immediate pain to Crews in a flagrant and unprovoked sexual assault," writes attorney Bryan Sullivan in the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Crews says he told his then agent, Brad Slater, about the assault the next day, but WME did not take any action, claiming that the company's culture encourages agents to take action. Aggressively in support of its reputation as a powerhouse of the industry and has an "unspoken policy of not punishing executives and agents for misconduct".
The actor believes that WME ignored Venit's "long history of strange behavior" and predatory acts due to the agent's success in representing front-line clients such as Adam Sandler, Casey Affleck and Dustin Hoffman.
The alleged assault occurred at a party Sandler was organizing at Hutchinson's Restaurant in West Hollywood on February 4, 2016. Crews had never met Venit, but he was looking forward to meeting him that night because he believed the agent He had the power to boost his career.
Crews says he knew something was wrong immediately because Venit was watching him "like a rabid dog," and, instead of shaking his hand, he grabbed his genitals. The actor pushed him and shouted, according to the complaint, but Venit continued with the behavior.
"The crew hit Venit's hand and pushed him back harder than before, screaming" Hey! What are you doing ?! "Two or three times, but Venit ignored everything. what Crews said and kept trying to grab Crews' genitals, "writes Sullivan. "The teams kept Venit in the distance and they turned to Sandler to get their attention, shouting:" Adam, come get your son! He's grabbing my nuts! & # 39; "
Sandler shook his head in disbelief, says Crews, while Venit giggled and smiled. Later, Sandler called to verify Crews and discover more of what had happened and apologized for the incident.
According to the complaint, after Crews reported the assault on Slater, Venit called and apologized, claiming that "he was not himself that night." The actor says that his agent assured him that WME would address the problem, but never received any warning of punishment. He stopped going to the WME events and met in his office to avoid meeting Venit, which he said probably had a negative impact on his career.
Teams detailed the incident in a series of tweets before firing the agency and discussing the situation at ABC's Good Morning America . The actor met with the president of WME, Ari Emanuel, who, according to him, explained that the agency did not have a policy to deal with such a situation. Venit received a paid suspension of one month before being readmitted to WME, and was demoted from his position as head of the film department. Crews says the suspension was nothing more than a slap on the wrist and says he was pressured to stop talking about the assault.
"Given the history of inaction by WME and the retaliatory actions that have occurred and are likely to occur, Crews has no choice [but] to take this action to protect and defend all victims of sexual predators" , writes Sullivan. "After all, if Crews, a muscular man, a former professional athlete of 6 & # 39; 4", with a long list of credits from the entertainment industry, can be a victim of sexual assault at the hands of a much more powerful individual in the entertainment industry. , anyone can be a victim. "
Crews is suing for assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based violence, willful infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and negligent retention and supervision.
WME has not yet has responded to a request for comments.