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SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards 2017

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Actor Terry Crews appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday, November 15, for his first live interview after publicly naming the high-powered talent agent he claims groped him at an industry party.

In a brave move, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star sat down with Michael Strahan to go over the details of the incident and explain why he recently filed a police report, and is taking his allegations to the court of law, on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Crews, who first shared details of the alleged, February 2016, encounter on Twitter, said he’s never felt more “emasculated” and “objectified” than that evening. It was an evening when he set out to have a great time with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews. She, instead, witnessed the assault first hand.

It was a bit hard for me to watch the interview. I am a victim of sexual assault and, yes, I am a man. I cringed a bit as the details unfolded during the interview. I left the room because it was bringing me back to an emotional place I didn’t want to return. And then the former NFL player said something that totally hit home. Crews said his wife told him not to react violently because people would have tried to “bait” him as a “large African-American man.”

I paused.

I was sexually assaulted on a rainy night in Brooklyn. It was about 9pm and I had just arrived for what I thought was a meeting to discuss my new job hours and the effect it was having on my schedule. I noticed there was no one else present when I arrived, except for the organizer of the meeting, so I waited patiently.  I was a teen, soon to enter my twenties. The incident transpired quickly. I remember wondering if I was dreaming.

I respected the man who assaulted me. I was confused and numb because we were scheduled to meet and nothing else. How’d we get here, I asked. And where are all the other attendees, I continued? I came to my senses when he whispered in my right ear, “ Let’s keep this between me and you.”

It was happening.

I ran out of there faster than my heart raced, which was pretty fast considering I thought I was having a heart attack. I walked home in the pouring rain. I didn’t feel a drop. I felt like God was crying. I felt like God was sorry. I was more disappointed, than upset. I was more hurt, than angry, but I’ll never forget the words my Grandmother whispered to me after I detailed my encounter. “Are you a man or a boy?” she asked, “Because a boy fights with his fist, a man thinks before he fights.”

I didn’t fight.

I didn’t scream.

I didn’t yell.

In fact, I held it in. I was afraid.

How would people view me? Would they believe me? Was it my fault? That fear lived inside of me for a long time.

That is why I admire Terry’s bravery. I admire his ability to push past the fear of scrutiny. And I admire his resilience. He’s helping male victims of sexual assault by using his platform to lead the charge. Men need not be silent and/or afraid any longer.

My assaulter died a few years after the assault. In a lot of ways I felt like the assault died with him, but now I realized that it didn’t die. It was just silent, until today.

Thank You Terry. With my whole heart.