How Terry Crews Overcame a Pornography Addiction that Threatened to End His Marriage
By Movieguide® Staff
Actor and activist Terry Crews recently revealed how his marriage to Rebecca King-Crews nearly ended because of his pornography addiction.
The couple opened up about how Crews’ addiction affected their marriage on the “PEOPLE Every Day” show with host Janine Rubenstein.
“The best piece of advice I ever got was a good friend of mine, he was the first guy I called when Rebecca was like, ‘don’t come home.’ He said ‘Terry, you need to get better for you,'” Crews said. “You have to understand that was a watershed moment. In my culture, as a man in sports, you do things to get things. You do good things to get cookies, you know? You work hard to get money … but to actually improve just for yourself, that was a foreign thought.”
Crews, 52, noted that his successful career and time in the limelight did not help his willingness to address the issue.
“Success is the warmest place to hide,” Crews explained. “I had so many people that were telling me I was great and there was no problem. Hollywood didn’t care. It still doesn’t care if you lose your family, it happens every day. They’re like, ‘Hey man, now we can put you in three movies!'”
However, his wife Rebecca added that her husband’s addiction took root well before becoming successful in entertainment.
“So fame just made it worse,” Rebecca said. “So it’s really true that power and success amplifies what’s going on inside you. And that is why I couldn’t help him and I’m thankful and I’m lucky that he made the choice to do that.”
As Crews began to address his addiction to pornography, Rebecca noticed a change in other areas of his life.
“Progressively, I saw what I felt was real fruit, real change, real behavioral change in my spouse,” Rebecca said. “It was in the way he stopped reacting angrily to everything. It was in the newfound patients that I saw with me and with his children. Once he healed his own trauma, he was not reflecting and deflecting his pain as anger to the rest of the world.”
For Crews, even admitting he needed help seemed like an insurmountable hurdle at first.
“Culturally, you have to understand, where I grew up, I grew up in Flint, Michigan, African American culture, going to therapy was admitting you’re crazy,” Crews said. “It was something that you didn’t do. Also, sports culture was one where anger helped you. It was aggression, it was competition, everything had to be perfection or nothing. So, you’re talking about things that help people as a man, it got me really, really far business-wise but it was disintegrating my family.”
In 2016, Crews released a series of Facebook videos called “Dirty Little Secret,” where he discussed his addiction.
“If day turns into night and you’re still watching, you probably got a problem. That was me,” Crews confessed.
“My problem with pornography is that it changes the way you think about people. People become objects. People become body parts. And things to be used, rather than people to be loved. You start to change the way you see people. You start to use people,” Crews continued, adding: “You cannot love someone and control them at the same time. All attempts to control your significant other are gonna lead in heartbreak because love is freedom. You know, if I kept my wife locked up in the basement, that ain’t love! If I restricted her in any way, it’s not love. But love is when she comes in the door because she wants to. Love is when she says, ‘Hey, let’s go out’ because she wants to be with me and it’s the same thing that I do with her.”
Crews, an outspoken Christian, hosted the 25th and 26th annual Movieguide® Awards, explaining why family-friendly media is essential.
“It’s always about the message,” Crews said. “Because all art has a message. Everything that you would consider an artwork has a message to give. It’s very, very important to me that my message be the truth. You know what I mean? One thing I love about [the Movieguide® Awards] is it’s not just all family entertainment, it’s also about movies that are for mature audiences only. But, it’s really about telling the truth, the true message. The thing I hate is [when] you look at a script and say ‘It’s not real. This is not true.’ Or, either the bad guy wins in the end. That isn’t real.”
He continued: “The truth is: good wins. It does. Love wins. Despite all the suffering, all the bad things in the world, you have meaning. You have purpose. That’s the real message. No matter what you’re going through, it’s about overcoming bad things. That’s what a movie should be about. My thing is, when bad wins, what are you saying? What are you trying to do? I’ve never been a proponent of that kind of movie or storytelling basically.”