- 22 Feb 18
The 90s star has shared his own experience of being groped 15 years ago and says it contributed to the derailment of his career.
In an interview with GQ, the star of The Mummy and Bedazzled reveals he was groped in 2003 by Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Fraser says that incident happened in public at a summer luncheon held by the HFPA, the organisation that hosts the Golden Globes. In the midst of a crowded room, Fraser says, Berk reached out to shake the actor's hand, but instead grabbed his buttocks.
“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,” Fraser said, remembering that he was overcome with fear in the moment.
Eventually, he was able to remove Berk's hand. “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,” he says. Fraser went home and told his then-wife, Afton Smith, what happened.
Berk, who is no longer president of the HFPA but still a member, told GQ that Fraser's version of events "is a total fabrication.”
Fraser revealed that he was scared to go public, saying “I didn't want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative." However, his reps did ask the HFPA for a written apology from Berk at the time, and received one - though Berk says his apology admitted no wrongdoing.
In Berk's memoir With Signs and Wonders: My Journey from Darkest Africa to the Bright Lights of Hollywood, Berk recalled pinching Fraser's buttocks “in jest.”
Fraser says the incident left him depressed and reclusive, he says, adding that he was rarely invited back to the Globes after 2003. The actor also says the experience messed with his sense of “who I was and what I was doing.” Work, he says, “withered on the vine for me. In my mind, at least, something had been taken away from me.”
Fraser isn't the only man in Hollywood sharing his #MeToo story. Actor Terry Crews is suing William Morris Endeavor agent Adam Venit for assault, battery and sexual harassment, among other charges, alleging that Venit groped him at a party. He is also suing the talent agency.