Brendan Fraser, known for 90s films like George of the Jungle and The Mummy, said a Hollywood bigshot sexually groped him 15 years ago in a GQ interview.
At a luncheon in 2003, Fraser alleged former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), Philip Berk, inappropriately touched him without his consent. The HFPA hosts the Golden Globes every year.
The GQ profiles the rollercoaster of Fraser’s career. After the early 2000s, his career largely stalled. He says part of the reason was this interaction.
‘His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,’ Fraser explained.
It left him feeling panicked and fearful — he never spoke publicly about it until now.
‘I felt ill. I felt like a little kid.’
He finished: ‘I thought I was going to cry.’
Berk, in an emailed statement to GQ, called the actor’s story a ‘total fabrication’.
After the encounter, Fraser’s reps demanded an apology from the HFPA. Berk confirmed and qualified this: ‘My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual “If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.”‘
‘Am I still frightened? Absolutely’
Fraser said he became depressed after it happened.
‘I was blaming myself and I was miserable—because I was saying, “This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel.” That summer wore on—and I can’t remember what I went on to work on next.’
It wasn’t anything particularly memorable. Fraser knows people wonder what happened to his career, but he said he became ‘reclusive’ after his run-in with Berk.
Earlier this year, he watched the Golden Globes with women wearing black for the Time’s Up movement. Berk was at the event — Fraser was not. He said he’s rarely been invited to the Globes since 2003.
Fraser also praised the courage of the numerous women in Hollywood speaking out as he now tells his own story.
‘Am I still frightened? Absolutely. Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely. Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely.’
The HFPA released an official statement to GSN:
‘The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article. Over the years we’ve continued a positive working relationship with Brendan, which includes announcing Golden Globe nominees, attending the ceremony and participating in press conferences. This report includes alleged information that the HFPA was previously unaware of and at this time we are investigating further details surrounding the incident.’