Earlier this year, actor Terry Crews joined the chorus of survivors who came out about the sexual harassment and assault they've endured in their places of work. He's arguably the first famous man to join the #MeToo conversation, and was honored by Time Magazine as a Silence Breaker in their 2017 Person of the Year issue. As our own Sesali Bowen wrote, "if there was ever a dude to have a seat at that table in terms of allyship, it appears to be Crews."
As a result, Crews is showing up for other survivors. Yesterday, he posted a message of support for actress Aurora Perrineau on Twitter, citing a Variety article. The piece details how Perrineau was falsely accused of seeking monetary damages related to a sexual assault case against former Girls writer Murray Miller. As Crews told Time, "until men stand up and say, 'This harassment, this abuse, these assaults are wrong,' nothing will change."
Miller denies Perrineau's allegations of sexual assault and his legal team provided a statement to Variety that walked back an earlier accusation that Perrineau was after money. "In a previous statement to the media, we stated that Ms. Perrineau sought substantial monetary damages from our client Murray Miller. Neither Ms. Perrineau nor her attorney have ever made a demand for money. Our previous above statement was incorrect and the result of a good-faith misunderstanding."
Earlier this year, Perrineau filed a police report alleging that Miller sexually assaulted her. The case is being investigated by the LAPD, reported The Hollywood Reporter. At the time, Miller's attorneys released a statement accusing Perrineau of turning to the authorities only after her claims for damages were rebuffed.
Seeking financial damages is a claim that has long been used to discredit survivors of sexual assault. There's a pernicious notion that women are making up false allegations in order to obtain money. Settlements for sexual harassment or assault add to this myth, by incorporating nondisclosure agreements or clauses that the survivor can only speak positively about the accused in order to accept a monetary settlement. Thus, a survivor who successfully sued may not even be legally able to refute claims that they lied.
Previously, Girls creator Lena Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner released a statement voicing support for Miller, stating, in part, that "we believe, having worked closely with him for more than half a decade, that this is the case with Murray Miller. While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year." The next day, they walked back that statement in a tweet.
Refinery29 has reached out to Perrineau and Miller's representation for comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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