Terry Crews explains how going public with his allegation of sexual assault changed him as a businessman
- Terry Crews said it's a "good thing" he went public with his allegation that he was groped by a Hollywood executive because it showed him who his real friends were in Hollywood.
- The actor said if he had stayed quiet, "I would have gone for years thinking these people had my back."
Since the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein broke in October, many others have spoken out in Hollywood about being sexually harassed or assaulted, sparking the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
And though many of those who have spoken out are women, men have as well. The first prominent man in Hollywood to come forward was unexpected: Terry Crews.
"I found out who my friends really were through this thing," Crews told Business Insider in a recent interview while reflecting on his experience.The 6'3", 245-pound former NFL player, who gained stardom for his memorable comedic work in movies like "White Chicks," "Idiocracy," and on Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," said in a series of tweets last year that a Hollywood executive groped him at a party in 2016.
In subsequent interviews, Crews revealed that the exec was Adam Venit, head of the motion picture department at the talent agency William Morris Endeavor, the same agency that represented Crews (the actor has since left WME). Crews also filed a report with the LAPD, alleging Venit sexually assaulted him.
By coming forward, Crews showed the world that issues of Hollywood sexual misconduct could affect men as well, and when Time magazine revealed its Person of the Year issue would be the "Silence Breakers," Crews was one of the people highlighted.
Looking back now on what he went through, Crews said it was "a good thing" because it revealed who was really in his corner.
"There were a lot of people that I thought were behind me and weren't," Crews told Business Insider. "I didn't cry in my bed, 'Oh, I've been betrayed,' as a businessman the difficult times revealed who was there for me and who wasn't."Crews didn't just leave the agency he thought for years had his back (he's now with UTA), the actor also had to question those in the industry he looked up to.
Entrepreneur/producer Russell Simmons contacted Crews asking that he give Venit a pass. Crews posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter and told Simmons (who has since been fighting numerous sexual misconduct allegations of his own) in the tweet, "No one gets a pass."
"I'm thankful," Crews continued, "because I would have gone for years thinking these people had my back. I would have just kept going. Sometimes you don't see until something weird happens, and it doesn't get weirder than what happened to me."