Brendan Fraser is sharing his own Me Too experience and says a 15-year-old assault may have contributed to the derailment of his career. (According to this)
In a new interview with GQ, The Mummy star reveals he was groped in 2003 by Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
The incident happened in public at a summer luncheon held by the HFPA (which hosts the Golden Globes annually). In the midst of a crowded room, Fraser says, Berk reached out to shake the actor’s hand, but instead grabbed his butt.
“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 told the magazine, recalling becoming overcome with panic and fear.
Eventually, he was able to remove 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,” he says. Fraser went home and told his then-wife, Afton Smith, what happened.
Berk, no longer president of the HFPA but still a member, told GQ Fraser’s version of events “is a total fabrication.”
Why didn’t Fraser go public? “I didn’t want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative,” he says now. But at the time, his reps did ask the HFPA for a written apology from Berk, and received one, though Berk says his apology admitted no wrongdoing.
People reports in his 2014 memoir With Signs and Wonders: My Journey from Darkest Africa to the Bright Lights of Hollywood, Berk recalled pinching Fraser’s butt “in jest.”