If you were an avid moviegoer in the 1990s or early 2000s then chances are you watched Brendan Fraser on the big screen. The now 49-year-old actor was a leading man for nearly two decades before he quietly left Hollywood. Years later, he's finally opening up to GQ about the events that led to his career's decline: specifically an alleged incident with the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Keep scrolling for more details about why Brendan Fraser left Hollywood.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Was Brendan Fraser sexual assaulted?
On Feb. 22, GQ published a profile of Brendan where he alleged that he was groped by the former HFPA president, Philip Berk, in 2003. He admitted that he previously didn't have "the courage to speak up for risk of humiliation, or damage to my career."
He then explained that in the summer of 2003, Berk allegedly touched him inappropriately at a luncheon held by the association in charge of the Golden Globes. "His left hand reaches around, grabs my a-- cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint," Brendan relayed. "And he starts moving it around." He explained that after he rushed out due to feelings of panic and fear. "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." Despite being negatively affected by the harassment, he chose to not publically speak about it... until now. He added, "I didn't want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative."
Is Brendan Fraser gay?
No, at the time of the alleged assault Brendan was married to then-wife Afton Smith. Often times when men come forward with a sexual assault claim when another man is the perpetrator, there is a fear of being labeled gay. Nevertheless, the George of the Jungle star is straight — assault and sexual orientation aren't linked.
But, Brendan explained that Berk doesn't deny something happened between the two of them — he denies Brendan's account of what happened. He wrote that he "pinched Brendan's a--" in his memoir, and later apologized while denying that any kind of assault occurred. "My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual 'If I've done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize,'" Berk said.
Brendan in his 1997 hit, George of the Jungle. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
What Is Brendan Fraser Doing now?
Brendan is currently filming FX's upcoming series Trust alongside Hilary Swank and Donald Sutherland. He admitted that while he now has the bravery to tell his side of the story, the experience with Philip has never left him.
"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," he continued. "And maybe I am overreacting in terms of what the instance was. I just know what my truth is."