Actor Terry Crews told lawmakers Tuesday that he declined a role in “Expendables 4” after being pressured by the project’s producer to drop a sexual assault lawsuit against his former talent agency.
“It was a project I had to turn down,” Crews told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Abusers protect abusers and this is one thing I had to decide whether I was going to draw the line.”
Crews had been asked by Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) if he had faced retaliation after going public with details about a 2016 groping incident at the literal hands of a high-powered Hollywood agent.
“The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he was holding my genitals in his hand was that he held the power, that he was in control,” Crews described to a packed hearing room on Capitol Hill.
The former NFL player said he wanted to act violently toward Adam Venit, his accused molester, but feared a rash act could derail his career.
“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,” he said, getting briefly emotional, as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s ranking member, encouraged him to “say it as it is.”
Crews’ appearance on the Hill was in partnership with the group Rise, founded by rape survivor Amanda Nguyen, who testified alongside the actor. She was instrumental in getting a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights signed into law in 2016, and is now working on getting similar legislation on the books in all 50 states, as well as a UN resolution.