Actor Brendan Fraser has spoken out publicly for the first time about an alleged sexual assault which took place at a luncheon held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 2003 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Fraser spoke out in a profile in GQ and says that concerns about “humiliation” and “damage to [his] career” have prevented him from speaking up till now.
On Fraser’s way out of the hotel, he was hailed by Philip Berk, a former president of the HFPA. In the midst of a crowded room, Berk reached out to shake Fraser’s hand. Much of what happened next Berk recounted in his memoir and was also reported by Sharon Waxman in The New York Times: He pinched Fraser’s ass—in jest, according to Berk. But Fraser says what Berk did was more than a pinch: “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 says that in this moment he was overcome with panic and fear.
Fraser said he removed Berk’s hand, rushed out of the hotel, and home.
He said: “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 said he felt worried the claim would “becoming part of [his] narrative” and began feeling he deserved what had happened to him.
Berk, who wrote an apology note at the time following a request from Fraser’s reps, is still a member of the HFPA, called Fraser’s story of the incident “a total fabrication”
Fraser said he was “rarely invited back to the Globes after 2003” according to the profile.