Anthony Edwards has written an emotional essay in which he alleges that writer-producer Gary Goddard molested him and raped his friend in a pattern of abuse that "went on for years."
Edwards' piece, published Friday on Medium and titled "Yes Mom, There is Something Wrong," is particularly troubling considering his age at the time. The actor, now 55 years old and best known for his Emmy-nominated work on E.R., recalls meeting Goddard when he was 12. "He quickly became a dominant force in my life," Edwards writes. "He taught me about the value of acting, respect for friendship and the importance of studying." Calling Goddard — known for film work like 1987's Masters of the Universe and for a long list of credits designing and producing major theme park attractions including Jurassic Park: The Ride, Terminator 2/3D: Battle Across Time, Star Trek: The Experience, Jaws and King Kong on the Loose — a "sick father figure," Edwards writes that he and his five friends grew close to the man during what was a pivotal time in his life.
"Pedophiles prey on the weak. My father, who suffered from undiagnosed PTSD from WWII, was not emotionally available. Everyone has the need to bond, and I was no exception. My vulnerability was exploited. I was molested by Goddard, my best friend was raped by him — and this went on for years. The group of us, the gang, stayed quiet," he writes after opening the essay by revealing that his mother approached him when he was 14 to ask about the rumors she'd heard about Goddard, that he was a pedophile. However, he "denied it through tears of complete panic," and "to face that truth was not an option as my sense of self was completely enmeshed in my gang of five friends who were all led by this sick father figure."
He does not name the friends, but he does write that he confronted Goddard 22 years ago.
"I happened to run into Gary Goddard at an airport," he recalls. "I was able to express my outrage at what he had done. He swore to his remorse and said that he had gotten help. I felt a temporary sense of relief. I say temporary because when Goddard appeared in the press four years ago for alleged sexual abuse, my rage resurfaced."
It is not the first time Goddard has faced these types of accusations. He was named in a teen sex abuse lawsuit in 2014 by Michael Egan, whose case later collapsed under his own credibility issues, and his lawyers apologized for making false claims against some of the defendants. Egan later went to jail for fraud. Seeing Goddard's name in the press triggered Edwards, he writes, leading him to seek outside help.
"At 51 years old, I was directed by a group of loving friends to a therapist who specializes in this kind of abuse. By processing my anger in a safe place with a professional, I was finally able to have the conversation that I wish I could have had with my mom when I was 14," he explains.
As a result of that process, he has gained perspective on the abuse he suffered, but also how widespread his experience is among men. "I’ve learned a lot in these last four years. Most importantly, I’ve learned that I’m not alone. One in six men have an abusive sexual experience before they turn 18. Secrecy, shame and fear are the tools of abuse, and it is only by breaking the stigma of childhood sexual abuse that we can heal, change attitudes, and create safer environments for our children," he concludes, later ending the essay by offering links to resources that he has found helpful on his own journey. One of those he lists is Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation. (Edwards had a guest role opposite Hargitay on NBC's Law & Order: SVU, and he currently stars on Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders)
It has been 37 days since The New York Times published Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey's investigative piece detailing Harvey Weinstein's decades of alleged sexual misconduct, a story that was quickly followed by Ronan Farrow's own investigation about Weinstein published by The New Yorker. Their work and subsequent stories on the subject opened the floodgates to create a far-reaching dialogue about harassment, assault and sexual misconduct, not only in Hollywood but in many industries across the globe. Thus far, the conversation about sexual misconduct has largely focused on female victims and accusers. There have been exceptions, however, like Corey Feldman, Terry Crews, and multiple men who came forward with claims that they were harassed or assaulted by APA agent Tyler Grasham.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Goddard for comment on Edwards' claims.