Anthony Edwards

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Anthony Edwards said on Friday that when he was a child victim of sexual molestation at the hands of producer, director and "mentor" Gary Goddard and also says the man raped his friend.

A lawyer for Goddard, told news outlets that Goddard has been out of the country and "and will have a response shortly."

Edwards, a 55-year-old former child actor best known for his role in ER and Top Gun, wrote in a Medium essay that he first met Goddard, a 65-year-old Hollywood executive who directed the 1987 film Masters of the Universe, produced Broadway shows and also works as a theme park designer, when he was 12.

He said that two years later, his 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." He said he "denied it through tears of complete panic," adding, "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."

"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," he wrote. "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 that in 1995, he ran into Goddard at an airport and confronted him.

"I was able to express my outrage at what he had done," he said. "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."

In 2014, a man named Michael Egan sued X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer, claiming he raped him when he was a teen actor. He then accused three more Hollywood executives, including Goddard, of sexual abuse, claiming they were part of an underage sex ring in Hollywood. All four men denied the allegations. Egan later voluntarily dismissed the claims.

A month after he filed his lawsuit, an anonymous British man sued Goddard and Singer. He accused Goddard of sexual abuse, saying that when he was 14, Goddard contacted him on social media, and that a couple of years later, he coerced him into taking part in nude webcam sessions and lay on a bed and kiss him. He said that when he was 17, Singer had sex with him in a London hotel room , despite his refusal, after the premiere of his film Superman Returns. The accuser said Goddard brought in a "large, muscle-bound man" to "smack [him] around" after he had told both men to stop grabbing him in a sexual manner. Singer and Goddard denied the allegations. The case was later voluntarily dismissed as well.

Edwards is one of several stars who have made public allegations of sexual misconduct against people in recent weeks following a rise in public discourse about the issue, inspired by dozens of women, including famous actresses, who have spoken out against alleged sexual assault and harassment by producer Harvey Weinstein, who has denied taking part in non-consensual sex.

Edwards said that four years ago, he sought therapy. 

"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 in his essay. "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.

"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. "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."

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Goddard's rep denied the claims: "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." 

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."

""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."

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