Gary Goddard Denies Anthony Edwards' Molestation Claims

Gary Goddard and Anthony Edwards - Split - Getty - H 2017
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Edwards wrote an essay, published Friday by Medium, in which he accused Goddard of molesting him and raping his best friend in a pattern of abuse that started when Edwards was a young boy and "went on for years."

Gary Goddard is denying all claims made in an explosive essay by Anthony Edwards, who has accused the writer-producer of molesting him and raping his best friend when they were young boys.

In a lengthy statement released Friday night, a spokesman for Goddard "unequivocally" refuted the allegations.

"Gary first met Anthony more than 40 years ago. Gary was a mentor, teacher and a friend to Anthony, which makes this story all the more disturbing to him. As to the allegations that Mr. Edwards made in his post today, I can unequivocally deny them on Gary’s behalf," said spokesman Sam Singer, who responded on behalf of Goddard.

The statement continued, "Gary played an important role in helping start Anthony’s acting career and acted as his personal manager. He has nothing but the greatest respect for Anthony as a person. Gary is saddened by the false allegations."

Singer added, "The post by Anthony, as well as many of the news stories today reference a legal claim made against Gary approximately four years ago regarding sexual harassment. The complaint was demonstrated to be fraudulent as it was completely fabricated, and ultimately withdrawn by the complainant and his attorneys."

Edwards' emotional piece, published Friday on Medium and titled "Yes Mom, There Is Something Wrong," detailed his experiences with Goddard, whom he says he met when he was just 12 years old. (The actor, now 55 years old, is best known for his Emmy-nominated work on ER, and he currently stars on Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.)

"He quickly became a dominant force in my life," Edwards wrote. "He taught me about the value of acting, respect for friendship and the importance of studying. ... 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."

Edwards' mother approached him about Goddard when he was 14 to ask him about the rumors she'd heard that the producer was a pedophile. However, Edwards "denied it through tears of complete panic," adding that "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 writes that he confronted Goddard about it 22 years ago when he bumped into him while traveling. "I happened to run into Gary Goddard at an airport," he said. "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."

Goddard was previously 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.

Meanwhile, Edwards sought help after seeing Goddard's name in the press. "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 explained.

There is a conversation happening right now in Hollywood — and beyond — about sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, a situation that has given a voice to many victims and survivors of sex-related crimes and trauma. Though Edwards did not address specific cases in his essay, he did make mention of the climate. "Right now, there are children and adults who want to talk. Right now, there are people who have witnessed this kind of abuse but don’t know how to help. Right now, there are millions of victims who believe that the abuse they experienced was somehow their fault," he wrote. "There are millions of children in our country who are one conversation away from being heard. Just as there are millions of adult men who are one step away from healing. I did not go from being a victim to a survivor alone. No one does. I had to ask for help, and I am so grateful that I did."

His story and Goddard's subsequent statement come on a day already dominated by news of sexual misconduct and responses from high-profile men who stand accused of various abuses. Earlier in the day, Louis C.K. responded to The New York Times' report that he masturbated in front of women without their permission by confirming the validity of their accounts. "These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly," he said in a statement. The prolific comedian has since parted ways with FX, his management company and his publicist.

Meanwhile, Alabama Republican Roy Moore denied claims that he molested a 14-year-old girl when the topic was broached during a radio interview with Sean Hannity, adding, “If I did, I’m not going to dispute these things, but I don’t remember anything like that. ... I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”