Anthony Edwards (AP/Charles Sykes)

Anthony Edwards alleges a Hollywood producer sexually molested him for years

In an explosive essay, Edwards accuses Gary Goddard of years of sexual assault


Charlie May
November 10, 2017 9:55PM (UTC)

On Friday, actor Anthony Edwards alleged in a powerful essay that he was molested as a young teenager by Gary Goddard, a director, screenwriter, producer and founder of a Hollywood design firm.

The news comes as several prominent male figures have been accused of sexual assault, or otherwise misconduct, by both male and female victims over the course of many years.

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Edwards' published his story, titled "Yes Mom, There is Something Wrong," on Medium.

"When I was 14 years old, my mother opened the door for me to answer honestly about the rumors she had heard about Gary Goddard — who was my mentor, teacher and friend —  being a pedophile," Edwards wrote. He instead denied it "through tears of complete panic."

He continued, "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."

Edwards met Goddard when he was 12, he wrote, and Goddard immediately became an influential person in his life. "He taught me about the value of acting, respect for friendship, and the importance of studying," Edwards explained.

He continued, "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," Edwards revealed. "The group of us," he said, "stayed quiet."

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Edwards explained that the reason for this, as in many similar acts, is that "the victims often feel deeply responsible — as if it is somehow their fault."

"The use of fear to control and manipulate can be both obvious and subtle," Edwards wrote. "Abusers will often use the word 'love' to define their horrific actions, which constitutes a total betrayal of trust."

The actor added, "The resulting damage to the emotional development of a child is deep and unforgivable."

"I have been so fortunate to have had access to therapy and fellow survivors. Shame can thrive easily when we are isolated, but it loses its power when people come together to share their common experiences," Edwards explained.

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Edwards adds that he ran into Goddard at an airport roughly 22 years ago and vented his built-up anger. But news about Goddard abusing others resurfaced in recent years, and so did Edwards' frustration.

"At 51 years old, I was directed by a group of loving friends to a therapist who specializes in this kind of abuse," Edwards wrote. "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."

Edwards ended his story with a message to survivors of sexual abuse and those who are afraid to speak up out of fear.

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"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."

Goddard, noted mostly for his work with amusement-park attractions based off of movie properties and a number of animated shows, has yet to respond to the allegations.


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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