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.
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Terry Crews Passionately Explains Sexual Harassment Lawsuit: 'There Is No Backing Down' (Exclusive)
"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.
WATCH - @terrycrews full opening statement: "I am honored to use my platform and story to help create additional civil rights protections for survivors across the nation under the Sexual Assault #SurvivorsBillofRights."
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. Venit denied "each and every allegation" made by Crews in legal documents obtained by People in February.
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.
ET has reached out to reps for Crews, Venit and WME.