The Hollywood Foreign Press Association are looking into claims made against the former president of the organisation
Brendan Fraser’s sexual assault claims against former HFPA president Philip Berk are now being investigated by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Speaking in a new interview with GQ, Fraser admitted that his absence from the big screen was part-inspired by an alleged encounter he had with Philip Berk – who the actor claims sexually assaulted him while leaving a HFPA-hosted luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2003.Fraser says that Berk sexually assaulted him in 2003. “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 revealed to the publication.
“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. I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me.”
Fraser said he was inspired to tell his story following the recent emergence of the Time’s Up movement.
“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.”
Speaking in a statement, the HFPA, who present the Golden Globes, said: “The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this 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 and at this time we are investigating further details surrounding the incident.”
According to Brendan, his reps asked the HFPA for a written apology after the incident. GQ reports that Berk acknowledges that he wrote a letter to Fraser about the incident but says, “My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.’ ”
That letter was then written about in a story for The New York Times. “Unfortunately the incident has hounded me ever since,” Berk wrote.
Berk also addressed the accusation in his 2014 book, With Signs and Wonders. Berk wrote that he had asked Fraser about a rumour that he had pinched the female HFPA president during the prior year’s Golden Globes He then writes that he demonstrated this by pinching Fraser’s bottom. According to Berk, this later led to Fraser claiming, “He pinched my ass” or “He touched my bod.”
Berk has not provided comment about the new investigation.