Actor Brendan Fraser has claimed that he was groped by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organisation behind the Golden Globes.
Fraser, who was all set in Hollywood thanks to movies like The Mummy series, says that Philip Berk molested him in 2003.
In an interview with GQ magazine, he said that following the incident, acting work ‘withered on the vine’ for him.
Fraser said that the alleged incident took place at an HFPA lunch event at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2003, when Berk reached out to shake his hand.
“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,” Fraser 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.”
Fraser said that he immediately left the hotel and told his wife what had happened.
“I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me,” he added, saying that it ‘made me retreat. It made me feel reclusive’.
“I don’t know if this curried disfavor with the group, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening.
“I 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.”
Berk, who himself mentioned ‘pinching’ Fraser’s behind in jest in a later memoir, has denied the claim.
“Mr. Fraser’s version is a total fabrication,” he said in a statement to GQ. “His career declined through no fault of ours.”
Fraser went on to frame the incident with reference to recent high profile allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
“I know Rose [McGowan], I know Ashley [Judd], I know Mira [Sorvino] – I’ve worked with them. I call them friends in my mind,” he said.
“I haven’t spoken to them in years, but they’re my friends. I watched this wonderful movement, these people with the courage to say what I didn’t have the courage to say.
“Am I still frightened? Absolutely. Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely. Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely.”
Fraser has most recently appeared in the TV show The Affair, and the animated movie The Nut Job.
He’s next up in the FX TV show Trust, directed by Danny Boyle, about the abduction of John Paul Getty III.