It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Brendan Fraser.
The Mummy star enjoyed a healthy career in the ├óΓé¼╦£90s and early aughts before plummeting into obscurity — a sudden drop off that has been attributed to his various medical issues, his rocky marriage, or just plain exhaustion.
But looking back, the actor wonders if something else played a part in his downfall: the time he was allegedly groped by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
In a new revealing profile with GQ, Fraser recalled an encounter he had with Philip Berk that, to this day, has left him “frightened.”
The incident took place in the summer of 2003 at the Beverly Hills Hotel after a luncheon held by HFPA, the organization that hosts the Golden Globes. Fraser was exiting the hotel when he was hailed by Berk, who reached out to shake the actor’s hand.
What happened next has already been told from Berk’s point of view — having been detailed in his memoir and reported by Sharon Waxman in The New York Times — that the former HFPA president pinched Fraser’s ass in jest.
But the way Fraser tells it, Berk’s hands were much more violating than a pinch. He claims:
“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 did not go public with the incident at the time, but says he did report it to the HFPA.
While he doesn’t blame the organization for what happened to his career, he does wonder whether his accusation against the powerful figure “curried disfavor with the group” that made it harder to find roles.
Flash forward to watching the 2018 Golden Globes on TV, Fraser says it hurt to see Berk in the room rubbing shoulders with the actresses wearing black and the actors wearing Times’ Up pins.
Berk called Fraser’s accusation “a total fabrication” in an email to GQ, but the actor maintains he’s just being honest about what he felt:
“Maybe I am over-reacting in terms of what the instance was. I just know what my truth is.”
And while he’s relieved to open up about that truth now, Fraser says he’s wanted to many, many times over the past decade:
“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.”
Now that he’s taken some power back, a Fraser-naissance could very well be on the horizon. The actor enjoyed a acclaimed role in Showtime‘s The Affair an has an upcoming part in FX‘s Trust.
[Image via Media Punch.]