CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual harassment.
Brendan Fraser has claimed an independent investigation into his alleged 2003 sexual assault by former Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) chief Philip Berk found the leader’s admittedly “inappropriate” act was merely a joke.
The actor, who went public about the alleged incident to GQ Magazine in March, said he was interviewed by an independent investigator commissioned by the HFPA after the article’s publication.
The claim laid out by Fraser in the March article was confronting: the 49-year-old said that at a Beverly Hills Hotel function,“[Berk’s] left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.”
But Fraser now says the investigation found that Berk merely pinched him in jest – and did not explicitly call for Berk to lose his voting privileges within the organisation, which decides the winners of the Golden Globes awards.
Fraser said he refused to sign off on the investigation’s proposed joint statement, which would have included an apology to Fraser and the claim “all parties consider this matter to be concluded.”
Both Fraser and Berk told GQ they had not been shown the full report and did not have access to the methodology it used to come to its conclusion.
Berk said he has not been disciplined by the HFPA.
The original The Mummy star privately raised the incident with the HFPA in 2003, and was met with an admission of wrongdoing and an apology at the time.
However, Fraser said the effects of the alleged incident continued to have a traumatic impact on him in the years to follow.
“I wanted them to have every opportunity to change this,” Fraser said.
This article discusses sexual assault. If you would like to talk to a counsellor about rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, give the people over at 1800 RESPECT a call on 1800 737 732.
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