Actor Anthony Edwards—currently appearing on Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders but probably best known for his 14-year run on ER—has added his voice to the ever-growing number of celebrities coming forward with their stories of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. In a painfully personal essay published to Medium earlier today, Edwards reveals that he and several other young actors were sexually abused by their mentor, producer and director Gary Goddard, when they were in their early teens. He writes:
I met Goddard when I was 12, and he quickly became a dominant force in my life. He taught me about the value of acting, respect for friendship, and the importance of studying. Pedophiles prey on the weak ... 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 goes on to say that he’s only recently been able to confront what happened to him and begin to heal with the help of therapy and from supportive friends and fellow survivors. He writes, “shame can thrive easily when we are isolated, but it loses its power when people come together to share their common experiences.” He adds that there are many young men out there at risk—“One in six men have an abusive sexual experience before they turn 18,” he claims—and that “only by breaking the stigma of childhood sexual abuse that we can heal, change attitudes, and create safer environments for our children.”
Asked for comment on Edwards’ story by USA Today, Goddard’s rep said that Goddard would address the charges “once [he] returns from traveling.” Goddard has been sued twice—both cases filed in 2014—by men claiming that Goddard sexually abused them when they were teenagers. One, filed by former teen model Michael Egan III, named Goddard, director Bryan Singer, and TV executives Garth Ancier and David Neuman as his abusers. That case was eventually dismissed. The second lawsuit, filed by an anonymous British citizen, also named Singer and Goddard, but Singer soon had that case dismissed, too.
Goddard and Singer are currently co-directing Broadway 4D, a long-delayed, crazy-expensive immersive “film experience” conceived as part theme park attraction, part movie musical starring Christina Aguilera and Hugh Jackman.