Actor Brendan Fraser says he was groped by Philip Berk, ex-president of Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Hollywood actor Brendan Fraser revealed in an interview with GQ Magazine that former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Philip Berk groped him at a luncheon in 2003.
Hollywood actor Brendan Fraser revealed in an interview with GQ Magazine that former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Philip Berk groped him at a luncheon in 2003.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/BRENDAN__FRASER

LOS ANGELES - Hollywood actor Brendan Fraser, star of films such as The Mummy (1999) and George Of The Jungle (1997), says that he was groped by Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

The alleged incident took place at a HFPA luncheon in 2003, when Berk came to shake Fraser's hand goodbye. That was when Berk assaulted him, Fraser said in an interview with GQ magazine.

"His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint," Fraser said. "And he starts moving it around."

The incident left him feeling "ill", he added in the article published on Thursday (Feb 22).

"I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry."

Fraser also said that the incident was partly why he retreated from the entertainment scene in the mid-2000s. The experience "made me retreat, it made me feel reclusive", he said.

Berk, who is still a HFPA member, denied the allegations in a statement to GQ: "Mr. Fraser's version is a total fabrication."

The HFPA is a non-profit organisation of entertainment journalists and photographers, and is known for conducting the annual Golden Globe Awards.

Fraser, 49, was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the 1990s and early 2000s, but went on to do bit roles later on.

He has been making his comeback in recent months. Last year (2017), he played domineering prison guard John Gunther on the drama The Affair, and coming up in March, he will be seen in a starring role in the TV series Trust, a period drama that revolves around the abduction in Italy of John Paul Getty III, the then-heir to Getty Oil.