Actor Brendan Fraser Alleges Former Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Touched Him Inappropriately

On Thursday, GQ published an article, titled "What Ever Happened to Brendan Fraser?" The piece, written by Zach Baron, details the "stupendous rise and surprising disappearance of the once ubiquitous movie star."

The first meeting between Baron and Fraser took place at the movie star’s home in Bedford, New York. Baron writes that after a lengthy conversation covering various marks in Fraser’s life, the actor appeared overwhelmed, "his eyes seem to well up."

Fraser retrieved a bow and several arrows, launched a few into a target on his property, and the conversation soon ended. Whatever was troubling him went unexpressed.

Weeks later, Fraser called Baron — he was ready to speak about something that he previously didn’t have the "courage" to bring up.

According to Fraser, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the summer of 2003, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, touched him inappropriately:

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 tells Baron that he became deeply unnerved, and left quickly after the alleged incident. "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 said.

The actor didn’t want to go public, he claims, because he didn’t want to deal with the way it made him feel. According to Fraser, it was as if he’d been hit with "invisible paint."

Baron writes that "Fraser’s reps asked the HFPA for a written apology," and that Berk even admitted to writing a letter. But Berk claims that his “apology admitted no wrongdoing,” something to the effect of “If I've done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.”

Despite writing the letter, the former HFPA president claims he did nothing wrong. Berk admits he "pinched Fraser’s ass — in jest," writes Baron, but when questioned via email, Berk maintains that Fraser’s account of the incident is "a total fabrication."

After the alleged encounter, Fraser says he became depressed: “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.”

Fraser essentially pulled away from Hollywood life. He told Baron that he’s unsure if the HFPA was exacting some weird revenge because, he claims, the organization didn’t extend many invitations to the Golden Globes after that.

He watched the most recent Globes ceremony on TV, and saw Berk in attendance, which disturbed him. Fraser told Baron that he was "still frightened."

The actor adds that following the alleged incident, things changed. He became depressed, his marriage failed, his career crumbled. "The phone does stop ringing in your career, and you start asking yourself why. There's many reasons, but was this one of them? I think it was," he says.

But out of the ashes rises the phoenix, they say. Following the surge of #MeToo stories from actresses like Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, Fraser seems to have become emboldened.

The actor is back in action, starring in two television shows, "Trust," about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, and "Condor," based on the film "Three Days of the Condor," premiering on March 25 and June 6, respectively.

To read the full profile from GQ (highly recommended), click here.

What's Your Reaction?