US actor Brendan Fraser is joining the #MeToo movement, coming forward with allegations of sexual assault by a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
In a new interview with GQ, the 49-year-old star of The Mummy alleges that the HFPA’s Philip Berk assaulted him at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2003.
“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,” the actor said.
Berk recounted the incident in his memoir With Signs and Wonders, but said he pinched Fraser’s behind as a joke. According to Fraser, though, it wasn’t a joke, and he was overcome with fear and had 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 said.
He was afraid to go public with the incident as, “I didn’t want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative.”
Berk denied the claim in an e-mail to GQ, saying “Mr Fraser’s version is a total fabrication.”
The actor said that the incident made him reclusive and he retreated from public life.
“I became depressed. I was blaming myself and I was miserable,” Fraser said.
He questioned if the HFPA blacklisted him as a result, since he was rarely invited back to the Golden Globes, which the HFPA runs, after 2003.
“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 said.
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