Terry Crews sexual assault case rejected, no charges laid
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Venit, an agent at William Morris Endeavor (WME), twice grabbed Crews by the groin, but because there was no contact with his skin, and no restraint involved, the allegations were not a felony.
They sent the case to the Los Angeles city attorney, who prosecutes misdemeanours. The city attorney’s office said Wednesday the statute of limitations for them to prosecute Venit had expired. The party was in February 2016. Crews did not report the incident until November 2017.
Crews reported the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department on Nov. 8, alleging that Venit had grabbed his crotch at an industry party in February 2016. Police investigated and forwarded the complaint to the L.A. County District Attorney’s office on Feb. 6 of this year.
The White Chicks actor has also filed a civil lawsuit against Venit, accusing him of sexual assault.
WATCH BELOW: Terry Crews names his alleged sexual abuser
Crews’ complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, states the actor and former NFL player was subjected to sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender violence and emotional distress during and after a February 2016 incident in which he says he was repeatedly groped by a talent executive.
The lawsuit recounts Crews’ allegations that agent Venit groped him at the party and details the actor’s efforts to see Venit disciplined after the incident.
Crews complained about Venit to agency chairman Ari Emanuel and claims that the two men have retaliated against the actor for going public with his allegations, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges that the agency knew Venit was predatory and condoned his behaviour by failing to punish him for it.
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 but 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.”
The talent agency submitted a response to Crews in January. In court documents, the agency disputes turning a blind eye to the incident. WME says it acted “decisively.”
WME has stayed largely silent on the matter but is now fighting the allegation that it has accepted Venit’s conduct.
“The facts are these: The day after the alleged incident, Mr. Crews mentioned it to no one at WME other than his agent, who nevertheless immediately raised it with Mr. Venit,” states WME’s answer. “That same day, Mr. Venit called Mr. Crews and apologized. Mr. Crews accepted the apology and then told the only two WME employees to whom he had spoken about the incident that everything was okay. That was the last mention Mr. Crews made of the incident to anyone at WME for nearly 18 months — during which time he remained a WME client. That is no surprise since, as Mr. Crews admitted in his later Tweets, he had ‘decided not to take it further’ and ‘let it go.’”
In the answer, WME, which is represented by lawyers Steven Marenberg and Robert Schwartz, pointed out that Crews never contacted WME’s leadership before deciding to go public during the #MeToo movement. By doing so, they write, Crews “equated himself with the women and men who have been forced, sometimes repeatedly and over an extended period, to submit to sex or endure sexual harassment to keep their jobs or advance their careers, while the perpetrators and others who knew about it looked the other way.”
Crews’ publicist declined to comment on the case being rejected.
—With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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