Actor Terry Crews, who filed a lawsuit in December against top talent agent Adam Venit for allegedly groping his genitals, says he’s faced pressure from the producer of “Expendables 4” to drop the sexual harassment suit.
In a Saturday tweet, the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star claimed producer Avi Lerner had called his management team to say Crews could avoid “problems” if he dropped his case against Venit and the agency he works for, William Morris Endeavor (WME). Crews is expected to reprise his role as Hale Caesar in the fourth installment of the “Expendables” franchise.
The “Sly” in the tweet is an apparent reference to Sylvester Stallone, who starred in the first three “Expendables” films and has reportedly clashed with Lerner on the creative direction of the upcoming sequel.
As Jezebel noted, Crews’ tweet may allude to this clash, which sparked rumors last year that Stallone, who is represented by Venit, was considering withdrawing from the franchise and refusing to participate in “Expendables 4.” The veteran action star, however, has apparently changed his mind about the withdrawal. In December, Stallone shared a photograph on Instagram promoting the sequel.
Representatives of Stallone, Lerner and Crews have not responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
Crews first accused Venit of sexual assault last year, naming the agent during an interview with “Good Morning America.” Crews alleged that he was at a Hollywood party with his wife in 2016 when Venit suddenly grabbed his crotch.
“I stick my hand out,” Crews said, “and he literally takes his hand and puts it, squeezes my genitals. And I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey!’ … I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing?’”
“I have never felt more emasculated. More objectified. I was horrified,” he added.
WME suspended Venit without pay for a month following Crews’ allegation. The agent has since returned to his job.
Reacting to the news of Venit’s reinstatement, Crews tweeted in late November that “someone got a pass.” About a week later, Crews filed a lawsuit against Venit and WME for assault, battery and gender violence.