Brendan Fraser has opened up about how a sexual assault by an influential Hollywood figure and years of doing his own stunts virtually destroyed his movie career.
The actor, who was a household name in the 1990s and 2000s with hits such as George of the Jungle and the Mummy franchise, told GQ in a lengthy profile about how there had been a steady decline of acting roles in recent years.
Several factors seem to have contributed including a failing marriage, a growing list of health problems and a spiral into depression.
Fraser, 49, detailed in the profile for the first that he was sexually harassed in 2003 by the then-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk.
Brendan Fraser (pictured, January 2018) is the subject of a new profile in GQ magazine that seeks to explore the reasons why there was a decline in acting roles for the once household name
Fraser, who rose to fame in the 1990s and 2000s with hits such as George of the Jungle (left) and the Mummy franchise (right) speculates that two reasons were the depression he suffered after he was sexually harassed and the breakdown of his body after years of stunts
The alleged incident occurred in 2003 at the Beverly Hills Hotel while they were having lunch.
‘His left hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint,’ he told GQ,
‘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.’
After immediately leaving the luncheon, Fraser told his wife of the interaction but otherwise remained silent for fear of embarrassment and career damage.
While he did not go public, about the incident he eventually did report it to the HFPA, but their response was clear: Fraser was rarely invited back to the Globes after 2003.
In the article, Berk says he wrote a letter to Fraser about the incident but ‘admitted no wrongdoing.’
Fraser said that he became depressed and he started telling himself he deserved what had happened to him.
‘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.’
The alleged incident occurred in 2003 at the Beverly Hills Hotel while Fraser (left) was having lunch with the then-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk (right)
Fraser said: ‘His left hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint.’ Fraser said that he became depressed after the incident (Pictured, from left to right: John Hannah, Rachel Weisz, and Fraser in The Mummy, 1999)
While he did not go public, about the incident he eventually did report it to the HFPA, In the article, Berk says he wrote a letter to Fraser about the incident but ‘admitted no wrongdoing’ (Pictured, Fraser, left, with Josh Hutcherson in ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’, 2008)
Fraser also says that the roles he was in took a physical toll on him. His physical prime from 1997’s ‘George of the Jungle’ was fast-fading.
‘By the time I did the third Mummy picture in China [in 2008], I was put together with tape and ice…’cause they’re small and light and they can fit under your clothes. I was building an exoskeleton for myself daily.’
Eventually the injuries he received while performing his stunts required multiple surgeries:
He needed a lumbar laminectomy, a surgery that removes the back portion of a vertebra in the lower back, to create more room within the spinal canal.
Fraser also says that the roles he was in took a physical toll on him. His physical prime from 1997’s ‘George of the Jungle’ was fast-fading (Left, Fraser in ‘Airheads’, 1994; and right in ‘George of the Jungle’, 1997′)
He needed multiple back surgeries, a partial knee replacement and vocal cord repair to name a few, Fraser (pictured, December 2016) said he was in and out of hospitals for almost seven years
However, it didn’t take and it had to be done again a year late. He underwent a partial knee replacement, more back surgery involving bolting various compressed spinal pads together and even surgery to repair his vocal cords.
Fraser said he was in and out of hospitals for almost seven years.
The actor has been enjoying a minor resurgence on television, with a lauded supporting part in Showtime’s ‘The Affair’ and an upcoming role in FX’s ‘Trust’.
‘Maybe I am over-reacting in terms of what the instance was,’ he says about the Berk allegation. ‘I just know what my truth is.’