Saturday 22 September 2018

Terry Crews gives evidence before US Senate on sexual assault

The actor said he was prompted to tell his story after he saw his female colleagues speak out in the #MeToo movement.

Terry Crews claimed he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood agent while at a party with his wife in 2016 (Ian West/PA)
Terry Crews claimed he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood agent while at a party with his wife in 2016 (Ian West/PA)

By Isabel Togoh, Press Association

Actor Terry Crews told of his response to being sexually assaulted as he gave evidence before the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

The 49-year-old actor last year claimed he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood agent while at a party with his wife in 2016.

He told the committee during his opening statement: “The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he held my genitals in his hand, was that he held the power. That he was in control.

“This is how toxic masculinity permeates culture.”

As he testified at the hearing held on the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, he was asked by Senator Dianne Feinstein why he did not push the aggressor away.

An emotional Crews took time to gather his words as he responded, and was prompted by Feinstein to “say it as it is”.

“Senator, as a black man in America, you only have a few shots at success. You only have a few chances to make yourself a viable member of the community.

“I’m from Flint, Michigan. I have seen many, many young black men who were provoked into violence. And they were in prison, or they were killed. And they’re not here,” he said.

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star then revealed how his wife had “trained” him over the years not to be violent in the face of provocation.

It was her help which led him away from his “first reaction”, he said.

“My wife for years prepared me. She said ‘if you ever get goaded, if you ever get prodded, if you ever have anyone try to push you into any kind of situation, don’t do it. Don’t be violent’.

“And she trained me, to be honest with you, it was the strength of my wife who trained me and told me ‘if this situation happens, let’s leave’. And the training worked because I did not go into my first reaction.

“I grabbed her hand, we left, but the next day, I went right to the agency, and I have texts, I have phone conversations, and I said ‘this is unacceptable’.”

He added that despite him reporting the incident to the agency, they “disappeared”.

“And I told them how I almost got violent, but I didn’t. And I said ‘what are you going to do about this predator that you have roaming your hallways?’ And you know, I was told ‘we’re gonna do everything in our power. We are gonna handle this, Terry. You’re right, it is unacceptable’. And then they disappeared. Nothing happened.”

According to Variety, Crews filed a lawsuit against agent Adam Venit and employer William Morris Endeavours, who he accused of grabbing his genitals at the event.

The agent was suspended for 30 days in October last year, Deadline reported.

Press Association

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