Hollywood designer Gary Goddard has taken a leave of absence after being accused by the actor Anthony Edwards of molesting him when he was a boy.
Goddard’s eponymous company designs theme parks and production sets.
On Tuesday, it announced that the 63-year-old was no longer active in his role as a result of allegations shared by Edwards earlier this month.
Brian Kemper, chief operating officer of The Goddard Group, said the decision would allow staff to carry on with projects without being ‘distracted’.
In an essay for Medium on November 10, Edwards described how Goddard, a former acting coach, allegedly abused him and other child stars who he came into contact with.
‘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 said.
Describing him as a ‘sick father figure’, he claims Goddard confessed to the abuse and apologized for it during a chance meeting at an airport years later.
At the time, Edwards was 14 and Goddard would have been in his early twenties.
Gary Goddard, 63, (left) has taken a leave of absence from The Goddard Group after being accused by actor Anthony Edwards (right) of molesting him when he was a boy and Goddard was 22
‘He swore to his remorse and said that he had gotten help. I felt a temporary sense of relief,’ Edwards, now 55, wrote. Goddard has denied the allegations.
In a statement on November 10, his spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter: ‘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.’
Edwards did not name any of the other stars who he says Goddard abused but actor Bret Douglas Nighman has since vouched for his claims.
In his own piece for Medium, he said he fought Goddard off as he tried to get into his bed while they were on tour with their production of Peter Pan and described watching as Goddard climbed into Edwards’ bed to molest him.
Goddard (center with Barry Dennen and Ted Neeley) denies the allegations
Edwards (left as Goose in Top Gun in 1986 when he was in his 20s) had his account corroborated by Bret Nighman (right as a child actor, when they became friends) who said he once watched Goddard climb into his bed to abuse him while they were on tour with Peter Pan as 14-year-olds
‘I fought him off and pushed him away. Although it was dark I saw him force his way into Tony’s bed — which was about twelve feet from mine.
‘I thought that Tony would fight him off too. I lay in my bed with my heart pounding and listened as one of my best friends who I loved got sexually molested,’ he wrote.
Edwards is best known for his role in ER but has had a long career. He also appeared as Goose in Top Gun.
In his essay on Medium, Edwards said he denied rumors Goddard was a pedophile because he was so ashamed of his own experiences with him.
‘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.
‘I denied it through tears of complete panic. 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 said.