WME has filed a response to the nine-count lawsuit filed in December by its former client Terry Crews. The actor sued the agency and its former head of its Motion Picture Group Adam Venit after claiming the agent sexually assaulted him at a red carpet event in 2016, saying in part the incident wasn’t the first time Venit has acted in such a manner, and that the agency knew it.
The filing today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here) argues that WME’s response to Crews’ claims were “both swift and serious,” contrary to Crews’ “assertion that WME ‘ratified’ Venit’s conduct,” and after it says Crews accepted Venit’s apology the day after the incident occurred.
“Mr. Crews accepted the apology and then told the only two WME employees to whom he had spoken about the incident that everything was okay,” said the filing, which also noted “it was the last mention Mr. Crews made of the incident to anyone at WME for nearly 18 months — during which time he remained a WME client.”
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Crews revealed the incident publicly on Twitter in October, and filed a police report with the LAPD Hollywood division in early November. He dropped WME as his agency the next day (he is now repped by UTA).
Venit received a 30-day suspension from WME after an investigation and was stripped of his department head title. He returned to work November 27.
In contrast to Crews’ version of events, WME said that “the response of WME’s senior leadership, upon learning that Mr. Crews had not ‘let it go’ and had accused one of its agents of the conduct alleged here, was both swift and serious.”
“To the contrary, those acts demonstrate that WME decisively addressed and punished the conduct Mr. Crews alleges that Mr. Venit engaged in, bar any assertion that WME “ratified” the conduct, and thereby absolve WME of liability,” the filing states. “For these reasons, and until the Court hears all of the evidence, it should not accept Mr. Crews’ allegations against WME.”
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