Terry Crews says Expendables 4 "was a project he had to turn down" after producer asked him to drop sexual assault allegations
Terry alleges that Avi Lerner warned him about facing "troubles" if he did not withdraw his civil suit against Adam Venit over sexual assault allegations.
On Tuesday (June 26) actor Terry Crews sat before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and revealed that he had turned down an offer for a role in The Expendables 4 after producer Avi Lerner asked him to take back his sexual assault allegation against Adam Venit. Terry alleges that Avi warned him about facing "troubles" if he did not withdraw his civil suit. “It was a project I had to turn down,” he said during the testimony, as reported by Page Six.
“Abusers protect abusers and this is one thing I had to decide whether I was going to draw the line," he continued. Terry also recalled how he felt when the sexual assault incident took place. “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,” he said.
Terry confessed that he wanted to act violently towards Adam but refrained from taking his any actions as he feared it would affect his career in the long term. “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. Terry also noted that as a kid he saw his father being abusive towards his mother.
“I used images of women’s bodies and pornography at my disposal, validating my need for control,” he continued. “I often cut women short in sharing personal details of their lives so they would seem less human, less real.” Terry said that he used “power, influence and control” in order to have the upper hand over situations in his life- “from the football field to the film set, even in my own home with my wife and children.”
However, all of it changed after the sexual assault encounter he had with Adam. “This is how toxic masculinity permeates the culture,” he said. “As I shared my story I was told over and over that this was not abused, that this was a joke, that this was just horseplay. But I can say that one’s man horseplay is another man’s humiliation.” Even though Terry said he was always "very vocal immediately" after the incident took place, he never had the courage to file a criminal complaint.
It wasn't until 15 months after that he decided to go ahead and file a complaint. However, when he did the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said was beyond the one-year statute of limitations for a misdemeanor. “They don’t doubt that he did it, but it was through my clothing, which made it a misdemeanor,” he said. So someone can molest you, but as long as you have your clothes on you only have a year.”
But this has not stopped him from fighting for what is right. “Whatever happens with my lawsuit, someone else can build on it. It’s bricks. It’s the next guy, the next guy. It’s strength in numbers,” he said. He confessed he was aware of the fight not being easy but added that he was ready for everything. "Gandhi got shot, Martin Luther King got shot, Abraham Lincoln thought it was over, he went to a play, got shot. This is the reality,” he said. “But I’m ready. My view is, whatever comes, I’m ready.”