Whilst their marriage was amicably divorced in 2009, Afton Smith and Brendan Fraser made headlines once more when he sought to reduce the alimony he paid her in 2013. Nowadays he’s slowly back in business, finding acting gigs once more. But love remains elusive.
Divorce finalized in 2009
Brendan Fraser was married to Afton Smith in 1998. The two reportedly met on the set of “George of the Jungle” in 1997. The two went on to have three sons together.
During most of their marriage, Brendan could be considered one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. The Mummy movies had made him a star and various other projects had cast him as the leading man. Clearly, Afton became accustomed to the fame and fortune that came with it.
But in 2007 the couple split up. Whilst it’s not been specified, we can assume that Afton was the one to file for divorce.
When he asked for reduced alimony he claimed to be poor, which would require quite a stretch of the imagination, especially considering that he had five movies coming out in 2013. But since then there hasn’t been much going on.
An expensive divorce
It took all of two years for the divorce to be settled. Chances are that the couple had no prenup, which meant that a lot of details had to be figured out. Thus, the divorce was only formally finalized in 2009.
Afton received $500,000 in alimony per year and on top of that $25,000 every month in child support, bringing the total to $900,000 for Brendan.
By the time the couple split Brendan’s heydays were already over. Whilst he was certainly busy enough with TV engagements and movies, he was most certainly not in the same demand as in the late 90’s and early 00’s
When the couple divorced he was worth an estimated $45 million. Hence the hefty alimony. But then again, the couple did have three children and Afton had retired from her career.
Now, we wouldn’t be talking about this divorce, if there wasn’t some kind of twist. The divorce is said to have been reasonably amicable.
But when the time came that Brendan realized his career was in serious trouble, he sought to have his monthly alimony payments reduced to reflect his lower income. His situation was aggravated by a back injury that he received in a freak accident at home during Hurricane Sandy. He needed surgery to treat the injury and extensive rehabilitation. Additionally, his doctors advised against him doing his own stunts in the future.
Worried about lower income, the forced break and fewer projects ahead of him, Brendan went to court to have his alimony reviewed in 2013.
Looking at his career in the past ten years, things have quietened down considerably for him. He is only 46 and that’s not really an age to retire at. But he is not quite out of employment just yet.
Afton hit back shortly after Brendan’s plea made the news and claimed that he was hiding his money and more than capable to continue his payments. The whole affair sounded really rather nasty. Usually, alimony payments are made for a set amount of years or until the ex-partner remarries. Clearly, Afton hadn’t remarried yet.
We don’t actually know what became of Brendan’s request. Afton quite nastily said that the alimony could only be reduced once Brendan earned less than $3 million a year and that hadn’t been the case yet. We can be pretty certain, however, that he didn’t make $3 million this year.
Hopefully for Brendan, he won’t have to pay alimony much longer. It’s a bit of a shame that Afton reacted the way she did. She receives $50,000 per month and has done for years. Who needs that much money? A little generosity would have suited her quite well. Now she just looks greedy.
How are things now?
Well, as far as we know Brendan is still paying as much alimony as he always has. It seems doubtful that he has a good relationship to Afton, however. At least we hope he has a good one with his children.
At least his career has picked up again. He’s been on a season-long arc on a TV show called The Affair in 2016/17 and this year he has been on the show Trust. Two movies he appeared in are currently in post-production.
Still, he is not his former self anymore and he blames an incident where former HFPA president Philip Berk groped him. That allegedly happened in 2003. Berk apparently groped Brendan’s behind, leaving him panicked and in fear. Brendan reported the incident to the HFPA at the time, but nothing came of it and Berk denied the allegations, calling them fabricated.
Brendan only spoke publicly about the incident after the #MeToo movement came about. He said in GQ: “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.”
He blames the incident for the decline in his career, but the divorce and his lack of self-esteem after a few lacklustre movies did their part as well.
Hopefully, he is back on track now, though, and maybe he’ll even date someone again.