News of the lawsuit comes a little more than a week after Venit returned to work at WME following a brief suspension as the agency conducted an internal investigation of Crews’ allegations. Crews was previously represented by WME, which is also a defendant in the suit, but fired the agency last month after going public with his claims.
The lawsuit, first reported by TMZ and obtained by Variety, repeats Crews’ claim that Venit groped his genitals, “squeezing so hard that he leapt back in pain,” and also says Venit stuck “his tongue in and out of his mouth provocatively.” The lawsuit alleges that Crews alerted Adam Sandler, who was at the party and is represented by Venit, by yelling, “Adam, come get your boy! He’s grabbing my nuts.”
The suit also says that Sandler called Crews while he was on his way home from the party to check up on him. It adds that Crews told his agent at WME of the alleged incident, and met with WME chairman Ari Emanuel. Crews expressed fear of retaliation from Venit for reporting the incident, but Emanuel reportedly apologized for him and assured Crews that Venit “did not have that level of power despite his title as head of the Motion Picture Department.”
On Nov. 30, Crews tweeted what he captioned as a text exchange between himself and his former agent at WME, Brad Slater. “Brad — your boy Adam Venit — I was hanging with Sandler the other night and he was DOPED UP,” reads Crews’ text. “It was embarrassing. Sandler had to call me to apologize. He actually grabbed my NUTS.”
“The actual text to my agent Brad Slater at @WME 28 hours after my February 4th 2016 assault by the agency’s Adam Venit,” he captioned the photo. “Yet WME’s Co-Chairman @AriEmanuel says he didn’t know anything about anyone until my tweets 18 MONTHS LATER.”
The lawsuit argues that WME should have known that Venit was “unskilled, unfit, and unable to appropriately carry out the legal and other duties of a talent agent, and knew that he was reasonably likely to engage in the conduct herein” before he was hired.
Crews had previously filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department in regards to the alleged assault. He first went public with his story on Oct. 10, shortly after the New York Times and New Yorker ran bombshell sexual harassment exposés about Harvey Weinstein.
by Alex Stedman