The stories of pedophilia in Hollywood continue to come out and the latest one is from ER star Anthony Edwards, who recently claimed producer Gary Goddard, the founder and CEO of The Goddard Group, molested him when he was 14 years old. Edwards wrote of his sexual abuse in an article titled “Yes Mom, There Is Something Wrong: From Victim to Survivor” on Medium, something Edwards was not able to do for many years.
In the article, Edwards talked about the abuse and the fact that his own mother asked him about the possible abuse. At the time, rumors were going around about Gary Goddard and she asked her son, but he denied it at the time.
“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.”
Edwards first met Goddard when he was 12 years old. Goddard served as a father figure for Anthony, as well as for his group of friends. Edwards claims he molested him and his friends for years.
“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. 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.”
In the letter, Edwards talks about his father not being emotionally available for him. Because of that, he sought out that love and attention from someone else. Goddard provided that attention, but Edwards said that “pedophiles prey on the weak.” This is when he admitted that Goddard had molested him and his friends for years.
“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. The group of us, the gang, stayed quiet.”
For years, Anthony Edwards let it go. He never talked about it with anyone, but then he ran into Goddard in the airport 22 years ago. Edwards was able to express his feelings to Goddard and it helped, for the time being.
“22 years ago, I happened to run into Gary Goddard at an airport. I was able to express my outrage at what he had done. 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, Goddard was accused in two separate lawsuits of sexually abusing teenage males. This brought all the rage back for Edwards, but this time his friends led him to a professional to talk and work out his emotions, which was key for the Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders actor.
“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.”
So, instead of being quiet about it, Edwards is now sharing his story with the world in hopes of helping someone else. The stories of pedophilia continue to come out on a daily basis, so the more these stars talk about it, the bigger the light is shown on such a serious issue. Edwards is hoping to break the stigma of abuse and this letter was one step in the right direction.
“I’ve learned a lot in these last four years. Most importantly, I’ve learned that I’m not alone. One in six men have an abusive sexual experience before they turn 18. Secrecy, shame and fear are the tools of abuse, and it is only by breaking the stigma of childhood sexual abuse that we can heal, change attitudes, and create safer environments for our children.”
[Featured Image by Brian Killian/Getty Images]