Anthony Edwards says writer-producer Gary Goddard sexually abused him as a child

By Karen Butler  |  Nov. 11, 2017 at 8:05 AM
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Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Gary Goddard is denying recent allegations he sexually abused Anthony Edwards and his friends when they were child actors decades ago.

"I am responding on behalf of producer and writer Gary Goddard to allegations posted and made today by actor Anthony Edwards on the website Medium," publicist Sam Singer said in a statement to Friday.

"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. 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. 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 The complaint was demonstrated to be fraudulent as it was completely fabricated, and ultimately withdrawn by the complainant and his attorneys."

Best known for his roles in Revenge of the Nerds, Top Gun and ER, Edwards published a personal essay on Friday, describing Goddard as a "sick father figure" whom he met when he was 12. Edwards said he was vulnerable at the time because his father was a World War II veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and wasn't emotionally available to his family, prompting Edwards to seek guidance elsewhere.

"Pedophiles prey on the weak," the 55-year-old actor said. "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 said the main reason he and his friends remained silent was fear.

"Only after I was able to separate my experience, process it, and put it in its place could I accept this truth: My abuse may always be with me, but it does not own me," the actor said. "For far too many years, I held onto the idea that love was conditional  -- and so I would look for someone or something other than my higher self to define those conditions and requirements for me."

Edwards said that, over the years, he has gained strength through therapy and connecting with other abuse survivors. The actor also recalled how, 22 years ago, he ran into Goddard in an airport and confronted him about what he had done to him.

"He swore to his remorse and said that he had gotten help," Edwards said. "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. 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. ... 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."

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