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HFPA Investigating Brendan Fraser Sexual Assault Claim Against Former President

Brendan Fraser's Assault Claim Investigated by HFPA

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is investigating Brendan Fraser’s claims made against the former president of the organization, Philip Berk, who, the actor alleges, sexually assaulted him.

“The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article,” the organization, which presents the Golden Globes, said in a statement. “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.”

In a candid article with GQ, published Thursday, Fraser claims 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 attributes the alleged assault to his disappearance from the spotlight. Though Berk has denied the accusations, Fraser claims that Berk apologized in a letter with the HFPA later stating that they would never allow the pair to be in the same room together.

Berk addressed the accusations in his 2014 book, With Signs and Wonders. Beck wrote that during an HFPA installation event, he had asked Fraser about a rumor that he had pinched the female HFPA president during the prior year’s Golden Globes. To demonstrate, Beck explained that he pinched Fraser’s bottom. According to Berk, this later led to Fraser claiming, “He pinched my ass” or “He touched my bod.”

Berk originally thought it was a joke until he received a letter from the actor’s publicist threatening legal action against him and the association, which then resulted in him writing an apology letter. That letter was then written about in a story for The New York Times. “Unfortunately the incident has hounded me ever since,” Berk wrote.

This story originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.