In many, perhaps most, cases of sexual abuse, especially those that have been written about almost daily in recent news, the victims are a type: young, ambitious women, beholden in some way to older men who take advantage of their power over these women. That’s one stereotype that’s faithful to the reality. Abuse is about power. However, it doesn’t always look like what people may expect. Take, for example, actor Terry Crews.
Known for playing ripped men of action with a comedic touch, Crews is not what anyone would picture as a sexual harassment victim… Then he tells his story, forcing everyone to reconsider what abuse can be, and just how pervasive it is. Once again, it’s about power over others.
According to multiple media reports, Crews filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department pertaining to his previous comments about sexual assault by an “unidentified high-level Hollywood executive.”
Speaking to co-host Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, Crews identified the alleged assailant as Adam Venit, further elaborating that the alleged assault took place last year during a Hollywood party. Crews said Venit “groped” him openly at the event, which Crews attended with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews. Venit is a real power player in Hollywood, with ties to Eddie Murphy, Sylvester Stallone, and Adam Sandler.
Here’s how Crews described the interaction:
“He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business… 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. 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… 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?’”
Crews continued, saying Venit kept up the abusive behavior even after his obvious protests: “…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… 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?’”
A lot of people are asking that question these days, about a lot of very powerful people. And it looks like the questions will continue. Venit has been placed on leave since the allegations were made public.