Brendan Fraser, who has been notably absent from the big screen, has claimed that part of the reason he disappeared from filmmaking was over a sexual assault by ex-HFPA president Philip Berk.
Fraser told GQ that during an HFPA luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2003, Berk, who was president at the time, groped him.
“His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint,” Fraser says. “And he starts moving it around. 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, known for films such as “The Mummy” and “George of the Jungle,” says the incident, “made me retreat. It made me feel reclusive.” He notes that he felt the organization blacklisted him afterwards and that he has since not been invited to many Golden Globes events.
In Berk’s memoir “With Signs and Wonders,” Berk acknowledged that he did touch Fraser’s bottom but says it was in jest.
The HFPA has released a statement saying that they are investigating the situation.
“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,” the statement reads.