Terry Crews opens up about his alleged sexual assault while testifying before Senate

Terry Crews is hoping to make a change for others. 

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star appeared in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to testify with his own story of alleged sexual assault. Crews was advocating for the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights, which would codify certain rights for people reporting assault, like having their rape kits preserved and forensic testing subsidized in all 50 states.  

“This past year we have seen powerful men in Hollywood and elsewhere finally held accountable for sexual assault,” Crews began his opening statement. “We also saw the backlash survivors faced coming forward. I wanted these survivors to know that I believed them, I supported them, and that this happened to me too.”

The actor continued, describing the culture of "toxic masculinity" he observed throughout his life, and how even now, "as a protector and symbol of strength," it impacts his life. He then recalled the time he was allegedly groped at a Hollywood party in 2016. 

Terry Crews through the years
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Terry Crews through the years
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Terry Crews (L) and Rebecca King-Crews arrives for Warner Music Group's Celebration For The 58th Annual Grammy Awards at Milk Studios on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
Terry Crews and Michael Rooker at the premiere of 'The 6th Day' at the National Theater in Los Angeles. Ca. 11/13/00. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect)
Terry Crews during 'Eurotrip' Premiere - Arrivals at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 20: Terry Crews stars as Julius in EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS on UPN Fall 2005. (Photo by Robert Voets/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 11: (l-r)Tyler James Williams as Chris and Terry Crews as his dad, Julius, star in EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS on The CW this fall. (Photo by Jaimie Trueblood/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images)
Tyler James Williams, Tequan Richmond, Terry Crews, Imani Hakim and Tichina Arnold, winners of Outstanding Comedy Series for 'Everybody Hates Chris' (Photo by Malcolm Ali/WireImage for The Lippin Group)
Terry Crews during General Motors Presents 3rd Annual GM All-Car Showdown Hosted by Shaquille O'Neal - Red Carpet at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 02: Terry Crews at The Sprint Style Villa during Super Bowl XLI week on February 02, 2007 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Meredith Curts/Getty Images for Style Villa)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actors Terry Crews (L) and Tequan Richmond arrive at the 8th Annual AFI Awards held at the Four Seasons Hotel on January 11, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)
Actor Terry Crews arrives with his wife Rebecca for the World premiere of 'He's just not that into you' at the Grauman�s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, February 2, 2009. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - JULY 23: Terry Crews at the Circle of Confusion and IDW Comic-Con Party at the Omni Hotel on July 23, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Robert Benson/WireImage)
Terry Crews is photographed in Beverly Hills on June 9, 2010. He is currently starring in the new TBS series, 'Are We There yet?' which premiered June 2nd. He will be seen in the Lionsgate action film, 'The Expendables' written and directed by Sylvester Stalone. Terry produced and starred in his own reality series with his family 'The Family Crews' which premiered on BET this past February and became their highest rated original series. He is also the face of the new Old Spice commercials. (Photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 11: Actor Terry Crews arrives at a screening of Lionsgate Films' 'The Expendables' at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino August 11, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The film opens nationwide in the United States on August 13, 2010. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 13: Terry Crews attends the Old Spice Scent Event at Highline Stages on March 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/FilmMagic)
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- 'Tactical Village' Episode 119 -- Pictured: (l-r) Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords -- (Photo by: John Fleenor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4438 -- Pictured: Actor Terry Crews during an interview on April 4, 2013 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actor Terry Crews poses at a photo call for Columbia Pictures' 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2' at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actor Terry Crews attends the Eva Longoria Foundation dinner held at Beso on September 28, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Terry Crews in the 'Operation: Broken Feather' episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE airing after NEW GIRL on Super Bowl night, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 (approx. 11:00-11:30 PM ET/8:00-8:30 PM PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06: Actor Terry Crews attends Comic Con Experience 2015 at Sao Paulo Expo on December 06, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Vanessa Carvalho/LatinContent/Getty Images)

"I heard time and time again about the rights that my predator had, but I was never told about the rights I had as a survivor. That was the wake-up call. I knew I had to be part of what was happening here today in regard to the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights," Crews said. “If you know what you can do, you can actually do something about it.”

"I sit here before you just as an example, because a lot of people don’t believe that a person like me could actually be victimized, and what happened to me has happened to many, many other men in Hollywood, and since I came forward with my story I’ve had thousands and thousands of men come to me and say, ‘Me too -- this is my story,'" he added. 

Crews filed a criminal complaint against WME agent Adam Venit -- who he alleges committed the assault -- in November. He also filed a lawsuit against Venit and WME. 

ET learned in March that Crews' criminal complaint was not moving forward after the Los Angeles County District Attorney and Los Angeles City Attorney declined to prosecute for a felony charge because Venit did not make contact with Crews' skin during the alleged assault. Misdemeanor prosecution didn't move forward because the alleged incident was outside the statute of limitations of one year.


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