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24th Feb 2018

Brendan Fraser’s sexual assault claims against former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president are being investigated

The incident happened in 2003.

Wil Jones

The HFPA are investigating the actor’s claims.

Earlier this week, Brendan Fraser gave a fascinating interview with GQ. In the late 1990s and  2000s, Fraser was a big Hollywood star, appearing movies like The Mummy series, George of the Jungle, Bedazzled and the Oscar-winning Crash – but in recent years he has faded from the mainstream, and the profile is well worth reading.

During the piece, Fraser alleged that he was groped by Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), at a luncheon event in 2003. Fraser said that after Berk went to shake his hand, he pinched his bottom, and then in Fraser’s words “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.”

Berk described the incident in his memoir and it was also reported in The New York Times, but Berk denies anything more than touching his behind. Berk later wrong an apology letter to Fraser, but denied any wrongdoing (he told GQ that “Mr Fraser’s version is a total fabrication”).

Now however, the HFPA have said that they investigation the incident. In a statement to The Telegraph, The HFPA is currently “investigating further details surrounding the incident”,

“The HFPA firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behaviour described in [the GQ] article”.

“Over the years we’ve continued a positive working relationship with Brendan, which includes announcing Golden Globe nominees, attending the ceremony and participating in press conferences. This report includes alleged information that the HFPA was previously unaware of”.

Fraser has been praised for speaking out against sexual abuse in the film industry. In particular, Terry Crews, who previously shared his own story of abuse, tweeted a message of support.