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Back in the early 2000s, Brendan Fraser was at the peak of his career. He was a leading man in Hollywood, headlining popular fare like The Mummy and more critical fare like The Quiet American and Crash. However, he was also dealing with demons personally while working so hard in the industry, including mental health issues and various incidents he couldn't shake. This week, Brendan Fraser has opened up about his time in the limelight, also talking about a 2003 incident involving former Hollywood Foreign Press President Philip Berk for the first time.
This story has been out there for a while, with Philip Berk actually admitting he once "pinched" Brendan Fraser's butt cheek. Berk's side of the story has indicated he felt the incident was just a joke, but Fraser is now describing the incident in more graphic detail.
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. 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. I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me.
Speaking to GQ, Brendan Fraser is now recounting his side of the events that happened back in 2003. Per the actor, he thought many times over the years about making what happened public knowledge, but he says he kept holding himself back. Instead, he asked for an apology from Philip Berk and got one in written form, which Berk has admitted to. However, the Hollywood Foreign Press member has also told the outlet he admitted no wrongdoing in the letter, and still denies the graphic wrongdoing that Brendan Fraser says happened more than a decade ago.
There have been a lot of talks about powerful people in Hollywood taking advantage of people in vulnerable positions following the news about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others. The #MeToo conversation is still a hot button topic in Hollywood, which is likely why this story is resurfacing now. However, Brendan Fraser has changed a lot since 2003. He is no longer the charming leading man he was in his younger years. He's still acting, but he's reinvented himself as a character guy and seems to be a different person than he was 15 years ago, appearing on shows like Showtime's The Affair and more. He also says that at the time of his height in fame he was pushing himself really hard, maybe too hard, and it was the incident with Berk that really pushed him over the edge. Per the actor:
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.
Brendan Fraser's next big gig is on FX's Trust, which will follow the abduction of John Paul Getty III. Trust will hit the network on March 25, 2018.