In a new revealing interview, Brendan Fraser spoke about the ups and downs of his career and why we don't see him on the big screen as often. Fraser lives on a farm in Bedford, New York, which is about an hour north of Manhattan where he splits his time between there and Toronto, where he was shooting a series based on Three Days of the Condor called Condor, and Europe, where he was shooting Trust, an FX series about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, which is produced by Danny Boyle. In 2003, Brendan Fraser claims that he was groped by Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk, and claims that incident is part of the reason we don't see the actor on the big screen as much lately.
The 2003 groping incident was reported in the New York Times and even in Philip Berk's memoir, but this is the first time that Brendan Fraser has talked about the incident publicly because he was embarrassed. Berk claims that while at the Beverly Hills event, the two went to shake hands and that he pinched Fraser on the butt cheek. However, Fraser claims that it was a lot more than just a pinch. He explains.
"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. 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."
Brendan Fraser thought about telling the police that night but decided not to and only told his wife at the time. Philip Berk was contacted after Fraser's accusations, but he denies them and has called them a "fabrication." Fraser thought about going public about the incident at the time, but he didn't want it to become a part of his "narrative." But, the incident stuck with the actor and he asked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for a written apology and was told that Berk would never be allowed in a room with him again.
Brendan Fraser says that the groping incident made him "retreat" and feel "reclusive." The actor claims that he was also depressed about the situation and couldn't figure out what to do next. He had this to say.
"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."
In addition, the fallout made Fraser question whether the Hollywood Foreign Press Association blacklisted him afterwards. He says the silence afterwards was "deafening."
Philip Berk said that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did not retaliate against Brendan Fraser and that his career declined "through no fault of ours." After the groping incident, Fraser says that his work began to dry up. The actor said that medical problems and a divorce, as well as the death of his mother in 2016, also added to the decline of his career over the years. The incident is still a big part of Brendan Fraser's life.
Brendan Fraser was reluctant to come forward about the allegations, but he felt that now was the time to tell his story. Fraser calls the story a part of his "Truth." He explains.
"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. And maybe I am over-reacting in terms of what the instance was. I just know what my truth is. And it's what I just spoke to you."
In the rest of the interview, Brendan Fraser is just as revealing and appears to be an open book. But this incident has clearly stuck with him for 15 years now and it weighs on him for a number of reasons. Was it the reason that work began to dry up for him? Probably not, but it was a factor. You can read the rest of the candid and lengthy interview with Brendan Fraser over at GQ.