Real reason Brendan Fraser left Hollywood
BRENDAN Fraser has revealed the real reason he drifted away from acting.
The 49-year-old enjoyed years of success following his breakout role in 1992's Encino Man, and in the early to mid-2000s, Fraser was riding high on the back of box office hits like Bedazzled, The Quiet American, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, The Mummy and George Of The Jungle - but his career appears to have taken a nosedive in recent years.
In a new profile by GQ (titled 'Whatever Happened To Brendan Fraser?'), Fraser described the "depressing" incident that made him retreat from the public eye.
According to the actor, he was groped in 2003 by Philip Berk - who was then president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - during a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
"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. 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 told the magazine.
Berk has vehemently denied the accusation.
Fraser claimed he left the event immediately and didn't tell anyone other than his wife about the incident.
"I didn't want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative. I became depressed. 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."
Fraser explained that the encounter "made me retreat. It made me feel reclusive".
Afterwards, the actor felt shunned by the Association.
"I don't know if this curried disfavour with the group, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening."
He told GQ he was rarely invited back to the Golden Globes after 2003, but Berk dismissed the claim to the magazine, telling them the HFPA never acted against him, and that Fraser's career "declined through no fault of ours".
Berk also insisted that Fraser's version of events was a "total fabrication". In his memoir, he described placing his hand on the star's backside during a hug - but as a joke.