September 7, 2018 12:03 pm

Terry Crews settles lawsuit with agent he says groped him

(L-R): Terry Crews and Adam Venit.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews and agent Adam Venit have agreed to settle a lawsuit in which Crews alleged Venit groped him at a Hollywood party.

Venit’s agency, William Morris Endeavor (WME), also named as a defendant, confirmed the deal Thursday in a statement saying the lawsuit would be dismissed.

Venit denied the allegations in court documents, saying his actions toward Crews were not sexual and caused no harm.

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Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges in the case and Crews’ representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In December 2017, Crews’ filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court, stating that 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 said he was repeatedly groped by a talent executive.

The lawsuit recounted Crews’ allegations that Venit groped him at a Hollywood party and detailed the actor’s efforts to see Venit disciplined after the incident.

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Crews complained about Venit to agency chairman Ari Emanuel and claimed that the two men have retaliated against the actor for going public with his allegations, the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit alleged that the agency knew Venit was predatory and condoned his behaviour by failing to punish him for it.

Crews claimed 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 said. “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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Crews added his name to the list of Hollywood’s sexual harassment victims in October when he took to Twitter to reveal that he was groped by a high-level talent agent at an industry party.

He also discussed the incident and named Venit as the alleged groper on Good Morning America in November 2017.

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“Back in February 2016, I was assaulted by Adam Venit, who is head of the motion picture department at William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest agencies in the world, period,” Crews said.

READ MORE: Terry Crews files police report about alleged groping by ‘high-level Hollywood executive’

The actor said he was with his wife, Rebbeca King-Crews, at the party when Venit was “basically staring at me, and he’s sticking his tongue out — just overtly sexual kind of tongue moves.”

“He comes over to me. I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it and squeezes my genitals,” Crews said. “I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey.’ And he’s still sticking his tongue out and all this stuff and I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing? What are you doing’ and then he comes back again. He just won’t stop.”

Crews said that he has “never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified.”

—With files from the Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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