Entertainment And News

How Brendan Fraser’s Messy Divorce Derailed His Acting Career

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Sam Aronov / Shutterstock
Brendan Fraser and Afton Smith

Brendan Fraser's triumphant return to acting has earned him a Best Actor Academy Award for his role in "The Whale."

The actor has won both accolades and the hearts of his audience this awards season due to his humble attitude and his immense gratitude for the opportunities he's been given. For many, this marks the start of Fraser’s beautiful comeback story into Hollywood after some tumultuous bumps in the road of his career — many call it “the Brenaissance.”

For others, this is a reminder of the dark times that Fraser had to struggle through, including the sexual assault allegations he made against a powerful Hollywood insider and his messy divorce from Afton Smith.

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Here’s how Brendan Fraser’s divorce from his ex-wife Afton Smith slowed down his career.

After accusing the former Hollywood Foreign Press Association President, Philip Berk, of sexual assault back in 2003, Fraser’s career was in troubled waters, all it needed was another small push to land it into the deep end.

After Fraser’s career had already cooled off from his huge Hollywood breakout after "The Mummy" series, Smith and Fraser filed for their divorce in 2007.

The two had been married for nine years share three sons — Griffin, Holden and Leland. Fraser and Smith, who starred alongside the Canadian-American actor in “George of the Jungle,” had a lot of things to work out in the proceedings of their divorce.

The divorce itself put a small snag on Fraser’s career because it made him look undesirable — with his shaky career status at the time, most people don’t want to cast the man who seemed to be having a string of bad luck.

Six years after their divorce and child settlement in 2013, Fraser went to a court in Connecticut to try and reduce his annual $900,000 child support payment to his ex-wife, according to the New York Post.

According to court records and testimonies, Fraser claimed that he expected to make $0 from his acting career in the coming years, but this was only because he had no definite movie deals at the time. Fraser couldn’t afford to keep paying his child support, and nothing is a bigger risk than taking on a struggling actor for your film.

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The big movie deals stopped coming in, but Fraser did act in several other movies after trying to reduce his alimony.

However, it wasn’t enough as he then claimed that the money from those films couldn’t justify the cost of child support.

In an interview with GQ, he claimed that his lack of money came from the many surgeries he underwent over the course of seven years — from the bills he had to pay as well as the limit that put on his potential to make money in the future.

Smith landed one of the final blows, alleging that Fraser was hiding assets, according to Celebrity Net Worth. While her allegations went nowhere, in the end, the court decided that Fraser could only lower his alimony if he started making less than $3 million annually.

All of the drama surrounding his divorce, his medical issues, as well as the sexual assault allegations he lodged, caused Fraser to have one of the most tragic downfalls of any actor in the industry.

Thanks to a sudden resurgence of interest in the actor online, Fraser has bounced back in a huge way and now sees himself working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

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What is currently his most highly anticipated film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” features a star-studded cast like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Plemons, and Robert De Niro, while being directed by a Hollywood legend, Martin Scorsese.

It seems like things are trending upward for Fraser as the revival of his career is proving to be a success.

Fraser has made it no secret that his career was almost foiled by a series of unfortunate events but he has also made it his mission to emphasize the continued hope and ambition he maintained before his redemption took flight. Now, the family man appears to have a strong relationship with his sons — who live with their mother — and has never had a bad word to say about their mother.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Since graduating from Rutgers University, he spends most of his free time gaming or playing Quadball. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.