Brendan Fraser hopes for change following sexual assault story


Brendan Fraser has said he wants to "go forward" following his claims that he was sexually assaulted.

The 49-year-old actor previously claimed that Philip Berk - the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) - touched him inappropriately during a HFPA lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2003.

And he has now said that following his decision to come forward with his story, he is feeling "optimistic" about the change that is happening throughout Hollywood in regards to sexual harassment.

Speaking to E! News, he said: "It just spoke my truth. A lot can happen and it's important to unburden yourself with the things you just don't need anymore. I can go forward now and I feel good that I was inspired by others with courage and I was able to speak what I needed to say and it's a new time. It's a new era and I think some change that's good is going to come about. I'm optimistic. I'm hopeful."

Last month, the 'Mummy' actor claimed that Philip had left him feeling "ill" and like he was "going to cry" after the alleged incident.

He recalled: "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."

Brendan claimed he didn't want to speak up about the alleged incident at the time "for risk of humiliation, or damage to my career", but he started to feel "depressed".

He said: "I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me.

"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.

"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.

"And maybe I am over-reacting in terms of what the instance was. I just know what my truth is."

In response to the claims, the HFPA revealed they were launching an investigation into the allegations against Philip.

In a statement, they said: "The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behaviour 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."