Brendan Fraser has joined the list of stars who claim to be the the victim of sexual misconduct.
The “Encino Man” actor said in a GQ interview published Thursday that he was sexually assaulted by a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association–an incident that allegedly contributed to his diminished appearance in films.
Fraser said it was 2003. He was at the Beverly Hills Hotel for a luncheon held by the HFPA–the organization that holds the Golden Globes. As he was on his way out, Fraser was met by HFPA’s then-president, Philip Berk.
Berk reached out to shake Fraser’s hand, and then pinched the actor’s buttocks. The incident, previously reported by the New York Times, was in jest, according to Berk’s memoir.
But Fraser said Berk did more than pinch him.
“His left hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.”
The “George of the Jungle actor” allegedly felt “ill.”
“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.”
Fraser told GQ he rushed home and told his wife what happened. “I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me,” he said.
The celebrity considered going public with his account, but ultimately decided against it at the time.
“I didn’t want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative.” Fraser also claimed the HFPA assured him Berk would not be allowed in the same room with him again, which Berk has denied.
“I became depressed,” Fraser said. “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.”
He credited the alleged incident with making him retreat from public. “In my mind, at least, something had been taken away from me.”
Fraser said seeing artists share their stories as part of the #MeToo movement encouraged him to speak out.
“I know Rose [McGowan], I know Ashley [Judd], I know Mira [Sorvino]—I’ve worked with them. I call them friends in my mind. I haven’t spoken to them in years, but they’re my friends. I watched this wonderful movement, these people with the courage to say what I didn’t have the courage to say.”
He said the memory still affects him to this day.
“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.”
Fraser concluded: “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.”
Berk denied the claims and fired back: “His career declined through no fault of ours.”
“Mr. Fraser’s version is a total fabrication,” Berk said of the story.
Berk acknowledged sending Fraser a letter following the incident but maintained that “My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.'”
In response to Fraser’s remarks, the HFPA told US Weekly they’re investigating the allegations against Berk.
“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,” the HFPA’s statement read.
“This report includes alleged information that the HFPA was previously unaware of and at this time we are investigating further details surrounding the incident.”
Fraser’s interview came after numerous public figures have spoken out against sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry.