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TV executive Garth Ancier, former Disney TV president David Neuman and Broadway producer Gary Goddard, all of whom were sued Monday for forcible child sexual abuse by Michael Egan, have denied the allegations — Neuman in a series of tweets, and Ancier and Goddard through their lawyers.
Last week, Egan’s lawyer sued director Bryan Singer and accused him of similar allegations. Singer’s lawyer has denied those allegations and said he has documents and witnesses to prove that Singer was not in Hawaii at the times the alleged abuse occurred. In contrast, Egan’s lawyer, Jeff Herman, says he has witnesses who will place Singer in Hawaii at those times.
All four lawsuits allege wrongful conduct in 1999 in Hawaii and Los Angeles, when Egan was 17 — above the age of consent in Hawaii (16), but below it in California (18). Regardless of the age of consent, the suits also allege the use of force. The suit against Goddard includes an allegation of abuse in California when Egan was “approximately 15 years old.”
At a Monday afternoon press conference where he announced the three new suits — filed in Hawaii like last weeks’ because of a temporarily favorable statute of limitations — Herman declined to say whether any of his witnesses had actually seen any of the four defendants having sex with Egan.
“All of the allegations made by the plaintiff against Garth Ancier are demonstrably untrue, and we are confident the courts will agree when the evidence is presented,” said Ancier’s lawyer, Louise Ann Fernandez of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell. “As just one of many examples, Mr. Ancier has never even visited the estate in Hawaii where the plaintiff claims to have encountered him. Mr. Ancier is grateful to his friends, family and colleagues for their support.”
Regarding the suit against his client, Goddard’s attorney, Alan Grodin of Weintraub Tobin, said in an email, “Gary is in China right now, and we will have a proper statement in due course, but needless to say this is without merit.”
Neuman, in five tweets, said: “Hey everyone: obviously I have to be talking to and through lawyers, but I just want everyone to know right now that the disgusting allegations made against me are COMPLETELY FALSE. Also very shocking in that they don’t just stretch the truth, they are whole-cloth lies with zero basis in reality or truth. Sickening, and very evil, for anyone to lie like that, let alone in a legal document. Stay tuned; I will set the record straight. And thank you to the many friends who have reached out to me with messages of faith and support. I deeply appreciate it.”
In a sixth tweet, Neuman simply posted the following link: “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_bear_false_witness_against_thy_neighbour.“
Although none of the three new defendants are widely known outside of the entertainment industry, two in particular are familiar names within Hollywood: Neuman is the former president of Disney TV and also worked as chief programming officer for CNN, while Ancier has been a top executive at Fox Broadcasting, The WB and NBC.
Goddard, who directed the 1987 movie Masters of the Universe, has produced several Broadway and off-Broadway shows. He created numerous attractions for Universal Studios, including the Jurassic Park ride.
Email: jhandel99 at gmail dot com
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