comscore Brendan Fraser reveals depression after being groped by Hollywood exec | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Brendan Fraser reveals depression after being groped by Hollywood exec


    Actor Brendan Fraser in New York in 2014.

Brendan Fraser stepped away from the spotlight as his life was catapulted into a state of turmoil after he was allegedly groped by a prominent man in Hollywood.

The actor opened up to GQ in saddening detail about his life and career — particularly about the life-changing experience that occurred in 2003 after a Hollywood Foreign Press Association luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Fraser, 49, claimed that Philip Berk — the former president of the HFPA, the organization that hosts the Golden Globes — called him over on and proceeded to inappropriately touch him.

“His left hand reaches around, grabs my a — cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” he told GQ.

“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 continued.

“In my mind, at least, something had been taken away from me.”

The incident was previously recounted in Fraser’s memoir and was reported by Sharon Waxman in The New York Times, but not with the further detail provided by the “Mummy” star — that it was more than a pinch to his behind.

Fraser couldn’t bring himself to tell police officers outside the hotel that day. It wasn’t until he got home that he shared the information with his then-wife, Afton Smith. They later divorced in 2009 as he grappled with his feelings.

“I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me,” he said.

Berk, who is still an HFPA member, called Fraser’s account “a total fabrication” in an email to GQ.

Fraser’s reps asked Berk for a written apology and Berk did confirm to GQ that he wrote a letter.

“My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize,’” Berk explained.

Fraser shared in the profile, titled “What Ever Happened to Brendan Fraser,” that what happened to his career was likely a repercussion for what occurred between Berk and himself.

“I don’t know if this curried disfavor with the group, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening,” Fraser said, noting he was rarely invited black to Globes after 2003.

“His career declined through no fault of ours,” Berk said.

Fraser said he blamed himself for what had happened and found it difficult to work after that. The alleged groping messed with his sense of “who I was and what I was doing.”

After his friends Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino came forward with their disturbing stories about Harvey Weinstein, Fraser commended them for showing the courage he did not have.

On the eve of the 2018 Golden Globes back in January, Fraser sat in a hotel room as the actors wore Time’s Up pins and the actresses wore black dresses.

He was uncomfortable to see that Berk was in the room.

“Am I still frightened? Absolutely. Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely,” he said. “Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely.”

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