Brendan Fraser Finally Reveals Why He Was Blacklisted From Hollywood
Since news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, allegations of sexual assault have been rife in Hollywood. While the majority of claims have been from women, a number of brave men are breaking the taboo associated with male sexual assault and speaking out too.
One of these men is veteran Hollywood star, Brendan Fraser, who seemed to vanish from the spotlight a decade ago.
Famed for his roles in movies like George of the Jungle (1997) and The Mummy Trilogy, the 49-year-old said that after he was sexually assaulted by the then-president of the of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, his career was never the same again.
Check out the video below for a full report on Fraser's revelations:
Fraser claims a combination of the physical damage he suffered from years of doing stunts in movies, and Hollywood's treatment of him after the incident was reported to HFPA meant that his career was virtually destroyed.
A number of other factors also contributed to Fraser's retreat from the spotlight including a failing marriage and depression.
In an interview with GQ, the 49-year-old opened up about how the assault he suffered at the hands of a big-name Hollywood figure, just like in the Weinstein case, was deliberately overlooked and led to his ostracization from the community.
The alleged assault took place in 2003 when Fraser was having lunch with Berk at a hotel in Beverly Hills.
"His left hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint," Fraser 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 the incident, Fraser told his wife but didn't inform anyone else out of fear of being judged and the impact which it could have on his career.
Eventually, Fraser worked up the courage to report Berk to the HFPA. Their response, however, was despicable. The incident was brushed under the carpet, and Fraser received few invitations back to the Golden Globes after 2003.
Berk reportedly wrote a letter to Fraser after assaulting him, in which he "admitted no wrongdoing."
According to Fraser, the assault left him feeling depressed, and he began to blame himself for it happening in the first place.
"I was blaming myself and I was miserable - because I was saying: 'This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel'," he revealed. "That summer wore on - and I can't remember what I went on to work on next."
The physiological impact of the assault coupled with the physical effects of the stunts he did eventually left Fraser in a bad way.
"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," he said. "I was building an exoskeleton for myself daily."
The injuries sustained through his work eventually meant that Fraser had to have a lumbar laminectomy. This involves the removal of the back portion of a vertebra in the lower back so that the spinal cord has more room.
Sadly, the operation wasn't successful and had to be repeated a year later.
Fraser was then faced with additional back surgery, a partial knee replacement and surgery on his vocal cords.
Thankfully, he has been making a slow return to the spotlight with roles in the TV series The Affair and FX's Trust.
"Maybe I am over-reacting in terms of what the instance was," Fraser said of Berk's assault. "I just know what my truth is."