Already battling Terry Crews in the courts over the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star’s sexual assault allegations, WME agent Adam Venit s now facing a probe by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office over the alleged 2016 incident.
“A case was presented to our office on February 6 by the Los Angeles Police Department involving Adam Venit and is under review,” L.A. County D.A. spokesman Ricardo Santiago told Deadline today.
Crews was not officially identified as the accuser, but the actor who was among the Silence Breakers that made up Time‘s Person of the Year 2017, is the other party in the matter. No further information of the specifics of the LAPD’s investigation into what happened between Crews and the now-former head of WME’s Motion Picture Group almost two years ago were disclosed, but a law enforcement source tells us that the dossier the department compiled and sent to D.A. Jackie Lacey’s office was “thorough.”
After the review process is completed by the District Attorney’s office and the special task force Lacey announced in November, Venit’s case could head toward prosecution, get tossed, or be heaved over to City Attorney Mike Feuer for misdemeanor charges and possible prison time.
WME had no response to requests for comment from Deadline on this latest turn in the dispute between their former client and the man who was once one of their top agents.
The Venit review comes as Lacey’s team is also now looking over a total of five cases involving Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback, and former The Ranch star Danny Masterson. A file on Steven Seagal was passed to the D.A.’s office on January 31 by the Beverly Hills Police Department after an investigation of an alleged 2005 sexual assault by the On Deadly Ground actor.
After first going public last October on social media with what he later termed Venit’s “sexual predatory behavior” of grabbing his genitals at a Hollywood event in 2016, Crews sat down with the LAPD Hollywood division in early November to file a sexual assault report. Crews dropped WME as his agency the next day; he now is with UTA.
The Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell-run WME removed Venit from his Motion Picture boss position and gave him a 30-day suspension while investigating the claim. The agent returned to work in late November.
On December 5, Crews filed a nine-claim sexual assault and sexual battery complaint against Venit and WME, citing a “long history of bizarre behavior” on the part of Venit. Claiming that the agency knew about such alleged misconduct and covered it up, Crews and his lawyers asserted that “a message needs to be sent to those in power who abuses those over whom they can exert influence and control that abuse and sexual predatory behavior will not be tolerated.”
At the end of January, WME responded with an attempt to get the whole thing or at least their inclusion in it tossed out of court. “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 LA. Superior Court filing noted of the “swift and serious” consequences the agency says it took against Venit and the investigation it made into the claims.
“For these reasons, and until the Court hears all of the evidence, it should not accept Mr. Crews’ allegations against WME,” the response added.
That case continues as the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office contemplates what move it will make next.
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