Actor Terry Crews breathed a huge sigh of relief after detailing his groping nightmare online because keeping the incident a secret had left him emotionally crippled.
The Expendables star has become a leading voice in the fight for justice for victims of sexual misconduct since revealing he was one of them in a series of candid Twitter posts in October (17), days after multiple allegations were made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in explosive exposes.
Crews previously explained that reading all about the claims against Weinstein brought up feelings of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) linked to his own reported sexual assault by a top talent agent at a party in 2016, and the action man admits he was shaking as he typed out his deep secret for fans.
He was on the set of his TV comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine at the time, and had no idea how much of an impact his statements would have on the growing #MeToo movement against inappropriate sexual behaviour.
"I could not move," he recalled on breakfast show Megyn Kelly Today. "I remember just shaking, because when I say (I suffered from) PTSD, it's one of those things where everything comes flooding back, and I was trying to go to work actually, and I was just sitting there and I couldn't work anymore. So I just started tweeting, and I remember just making up this whole long list of tweets, and I had it all set up, and then when it was time to go to work, I remember they were calling me to set and I pressed send. And I went (breathed a sigh of relief), 'It's over. It's out.'"
Crews' posts quickly hit headlines, but he was unaware of the huge media attention they had garnered until he returned to his trailer: "I turned my phone off, did the scene, came back, turned my phone back on, the world had changed," he said. "I had no idea! People on the set were looking at me... Everything had changed. (Even) my wife didn't know (I was going public with the allegations)."
Crews subsequently named and shamed the man he holds responsible for the incident as William Morris Endeavor (WME) executive Adam Venit, and filed a Los Angeles police report over the alleged assault.
Venit has vehemently denied the claims, and although an internal investigation into the accusations resulted in the talent agent being placed on a 30-day unpaid suspension and given a subsequent demotion, Crews, who reportedly alerted other agents at the time to Venit's alleged bad behaviour, finds it infuriating that he is still employed.
In the emotional interview with newswoman Megyn Kelly, he accused WME bosses of failing to overhaul the "complicit system", where actors who find themselves taken advantage of by their handlers have no one to turn to.
"And what's so strange and crazy is that William Morris Endeavor is one of the biggest contributors to Time's Up...," he noted, referencing the celebrity-backed campaign to end sexual misconduct and inequality in the workplace. "This is a way to hide...! How can we let this system continue...?"