Hollywood isn’t the only showbiz town with a sexual assault problem.
Actor Anthony Edwards has come forward to claim he and his friend were molested by Broadway producer and theme-park designer Gary Goddard (above, insert).
In a powerful post on Medium, Edwards recalled meeting Goddard when he was 12, and described how the producer “quickly became a dominant force in [his] life” as a mentor and role model.
“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.”
Because Edwards felt responsible for getting abused, he remembered not being able to tell his mother the truth when she asked him about rumors that the producer was a pedophile.
At that time, Edwards was 14 years old, but he said the resulting damage stuck with him for years:
“The resulting damage to the emotional development of a child is deep and unforgivable. 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 now-55-year-old claimed he ran into Goddard 22 years ago and confronted him for his actions. Edwards felt a “temporary sense of relief” when the producer allegedly expressed remorse and said he had gotten help.
But Edwards’ feelings of rage resurfaced four years ago when Goddard was in the press for alleged sexual abuse.
For those who don’t know, Goddard was targeted in a pair of lawsuits from aspiring actor Michael Egan that also named X-Men director Bryan Singer. Egan and the other anonymous British man both dismissed their suits.
As for Edwards, he’s hoping that shedding a light on his abuse can help break the stigma of the subject and encourage more victims to open up about their trauma, concluding:
“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.”
[Image via Rachel Worth/Ivan Nikolov/WENN.]
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