In the wake of the Me Too movement that has swept across Hollywood, Brendan Fraser is the latest actor to share his story of sexual assault.
“The Mummy” star told GQ that Philip Berk, a former president of Hollywood Foreign Press Association, had groped him at a luncheon held by the HFPA in the summer of 2003.
As GQ noted, Berk wrote in his memoir that he pinched Fraser’s buttocks in jest, but Fraser said it was more than that.
“His left hand reaches around, grabs my a– cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint,” Fraser said. “And he starts moving it around.”
He added that he was overcome with panic and fear, but eventually removed Berk’s hand.
“I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.”
Fraser left the luncheon and went home to tell his then-wife Afton Smith.
Berk, no longer the president of HFPA, told GQ in an email that, “Mr. Fraser’s version is total fabrication.”
At the time, Fraser thought about making his allegations public.
“I didn’t want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative,” he said, but admitted the memory stuck with him.
Fraser’s representatives did ask for an apology, and Berk responded without admitting any wrongdoing. He merely said “the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.'”
Fraser told GQ that the experience “made me retreat. It made me feel reclusive.” He even wondered if the HFPA had blacklisted him since he was rarely invited to the Golden Globes after 2003.
Work “withered on the vine for me. In my mind, at least, something had been taken away from me,” he said.
“His career declined through no fault of ours,” Berk responded.
Fraser is not the only actor who thinks Berk blacklisted him from the Golden Globes.
James Woods said that he was blacklisted after he said that he would not “support Hillary Clinton if she ever ran for president.”
He clarified that Berk “was never physically ‘sketchy’ with me in any way similar to that alleged by Brendan Fraser in GQ.”
“Final note: I’m so glad Brendan Fraser is back entertaining us. I’m a big fan,” Woods concluded.
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