Terry Crews leaks email from Russell Simmons in wake of new sexual assault allegations: 'Give the agent a pass'

Crews gained headlines for claiming he was groped by a 'high level Hollywood executive' at an event he attended with his wife

Maya Oppenheim@mayaoppenheim
Monday 20 November 2017 18:40
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Crews shares a screenshot of what he claims is an email from Russell Simmons
Crews shares a screenshot of what he claims is an email from Russell Simmons

Terry Crews has condemned a producer for urging him to give the target of his sexual assault allegations "a pass".

Crews, a former NFL player who currently plays the role of a police sergeant on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, gained headlines last month for claiming the Harvey Weinstein allegations were giving him PTSD because he was groped by a “high level Hollywood executive” during an event he attended with his wife last year.

The actor, who has appeared in films such as White Chicks and Idiocracy, later identified the exec as Adam Venit - an agent at William Morris Endeavor (WME).

Mr Venit, whose client list reportedly included actors such as Dustin Hoffman, Emma Stone, Adam Sandler, and Liam Hemsworth, is currently on leave of absence over the allegations.

Crews has now shared a screenshot of what he claims is an email from Russell Simmons – the hip hop mogul who co-founded Def Jam Recordings.

“Give the agent a pass, ask that he be reinstated,” reads the email.

The leaked email from Simmons comes on the same day the millionaire producer was publicly accused of sexual assault himself.

Simmons, 60, has been accused of coercing model Keri Claussen Khalighi in 1991 when she 17 into performing oral sex on him while his former protege Brett Ratner watched.

“I looked over at Brett and said ‘help me’ and I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she told The LA Times.

His lawyer, Martin Singer, told the publication Ratner has "no recollection" of Khalighi's apparent plea for help.

Simmons has denied the allegations and claimed everything which took place between himself and Khalighi was completely consensual and happened with her "full participation".

"I'm deeply saddened and truly shocked to learn of Keri's assertions as to what happened over the course of that weekend," Simmons said in a statement on his Twitter page.

He did not comment on the email he appears to have sent Crews in his lengthy statement.

Crews filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department at the beginning of the month after coming forward to alleged he was groped by an entertainment executive.

"My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped by privates," the 49-year-old tweeted in October. "My wife saw everything n we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk."

"I was going to kick his ass right then - but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear," he added. "'249lbs. Black Man stomps out Hollywood Honcho' would be the headline the next day. Only I probably wouldn't have been able to read it because I would have been in jail. So we left."

Crews said he decided to share the story to “deter predators” and be a source of hope for others in similar situations. He said the incident made him realise why women choose not to speak up when they are subject to harassment.

Crews also addressed the issue on Good Morning America last week and admitted he experienced post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result.

“I’ve never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified,” he said. “I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong. It was foul to the core, and it still shocks me.”

“When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war,” he said. “Immediately you’re in a camp, because you’re trying to figure out when is the right time to come out. [Is it when] the guard turns her head? When they leave a door open?

“You’re digging tunnels with spoons, you’re trying to find a way out, and you get out and then you finally find freedom and somebody says, ‘It must not be that bad. You should’ve came out sooner.’

“And you’re like, ‘I’m free. I finally got free,’ and this is the thing that a lot of people just don’t understand and they end up blaming the victim.”

A person who answered the phone to NBC at a number registered to Mr Venit this month declined to comment on the matter. "I know nothing about that," he said.

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