ER star Anthony Edwards has revealed that he was molested by producer Gary Goddard when he was 12 years old. This is just the latest in a long line of recent high profile stories about sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.
Anthony Edwards came to prominence in '80s movies like Top Gun and Revenge of the Nerds. He became a household name in 1994 when ER debuted. He portrayed Dr. Mark Greene for eight years on the hit series, garnering multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his work.
One of the most inherently likable leading men in TV history, Edwards is now revealing a dark trauma that has haunted him for his entire adult life. In a lengthy, emotional Medium post, Edwards details his relationship with Gary Goddard, a producer who served as his mentor early in his career, alleging that Goddard molested him and raped another of his friends:
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. 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.
Edwards goes on to detail the long road of guilt and shame he endured due to the abuse, and recounts confronting Goddard about the abuse years later. Goddard was remorseful, but Edwards was deeply angered when Goddard was implicated in further allegations along with X-Men director Bryan Singer years later:
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.
Edwards details his own journey toward healing and offers his support for fellow survivors of abuse. Goddard, who worked on the Masters of the Universe film and created the children's show Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, joins an ever growing list of sexual predators in Hollywood, exploiting their positions of power to sexually abuse the vulnerable. Director James Toback, actor Kevin Spacey, and comedian Louis CK have all been embroiled in varying allegations of sexual misconduct, a wave of revelations that began with revelations about powerful producer Harvey Weinstein. It seems highly unlikely we've seen the end of these allegations, and as uncomfortable and depressing as the seemingly endless supply of these horror stories may be, they're vitally important to changing a culture that both encourages and dismisses abuse.