Marvelous comeback of Brendan Fraser: How #MeToo allegation derailed career of once Hollywood's hottest hunk

'The Mummy' actor had claimed that former Hollywood Foreign Press president Philip Berk had groped him at an HFPA luncheon in 2003

Marvelous comeback of Brendan Fraser: How #MeToo allegation derailed career of once Hollywood's hottest hunk
Brendan Fraser, who was once Hollywood's hottest hunk, has made a phenomenal comeback with 'The Whale' (Pascal Le Segretain and Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Receiving a six-minute standing ovation on the night of September 4, 2022, at the 79th Venice International Film Festival for his moving performance in the psychological drama ‘The Whale', Brendan Fraser officially made his official comeback. The movie, which has been praised by critics across the globe, is due in theaters on December 9, 2022. After the movie's premiere at the esteemed film festival, other actors and fans took to social media to share their happiness at the recognition Fraser received for the movie, in which he plays a character of an English teacher living with morbid obesity. Dwayne Johnson wrote, "This makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan. He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother."

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However, during the premiere, Fraser was caught preparing to exit the stage when spectators and people onstage alongside him began a round of applause. He appeared to be in tears at the response, which came years after the actor was at the peak of his career and was tagged as one of the hottest hunks in Hollywood. Once a big star with major hits such as 'George of the Jungle' and 'The Mummy' franchise, Fraser was universally loved by the people. However, there came a point in his life, where all his years of hard work were deemed doomed by one allegation. In an interview with GQ magazine, the actor claimed that former Hollywood Foreign Press president Philip Berk had groped him at an HFPA luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2003. 

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Overwhelmed Brendan Fraser MOVED TO TEARS after his movie 'The Whale' received 6-minute standing ovation

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Narrating the details, he said, "His left hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.” It even led to him wondering if he had been blacklisted by the HFPA, which oversees the Golden Globes, telling GQ he was rarely invited back to the awards ceremony in the years after.

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According to Fraser, the HFPA said it would never allow Berk in a room with Fraser again. “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," said Fraser.

While he continued to act in films like 'Hair Brained' and 'Furry Vengeance', including a TV stint 'The Affair' from 2016 to 2017, nothing remained the same for him, like in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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Rick O''Connell (played by Brendan Fraser, left) faces a new threat in
Brendan Fraser in 'The Mummy Returns' (Keith Hamshere/Universal Studios/Getty Images)

And just as his professional life took a hit, his private life too faced major upheaval that resulted in a divorce from Afton Smith in 2007, according to DailyMail. Fraser was instructed to pay around $900K for child support. But after six years, he allegedly asked the court to reduce the payment as he said he was no longer able to afford the hefty sum due to lack of work.

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Actor Brendan Fraser (L) and wife, Afton Smith, attend Paramount Pictures'
Brendan Fraser (L) with ex-wife Afton Smith at the Paramount Pictures Studios on July 14, 2002, in Hollywood, California (Robert Mora/Getty Images)

His fans, who claimed the actor "appeared to be very down and out, and us loyal fans feel like we are obliged to help him in any way possible", demanded 'Brenaissance' and launched a petition that received over 46,000 signatures for considering Fraser for any upcoming shows/movies that are planned.

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The Hollywood comeback

Fraser's latest film 'The Whale' revolves around Charlie, a 600-pound middle-aged man trying to reconnect with his daughter Ellie, played by Sadie Sink after he abandoned his family for his lover who has died. Charlie starts binge eating because of the guilt. The film narrates the aftermath of his actions and his hopes of mending the broken relationship with Ellie, according to Hollywood.com.

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