Gary Goddard is facing new accusations from eight alleged victims who say the Hollywood/Broadway producer and theme park designer molested or attempted to molest them when they were underage. Since actor Anthony Edwards detailed the way his former mentor allegedly abused him, seven other members of Edwards’ old theater troupe have come forward with similar accounts, supporting Edwards' claims in his the Medium piece he penned that he was not alone.
According to a series of interviews with the Los Angeles Times, Goddard’s behavior included everything from errant hands to full blown sexual abuse during overnight stays. In what reads like the worst kind of Law & Order SVU episode (Edwards actually appeared in the popular series), the piece explains that during the 1970s, Goddard was a revered figure among young male actors in his hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Having succeeded in the theater himself, the then twenty-something Goddard would frequently come home to mentor and direct these boys, colloquially referred to as the “Goddardites.” Goddard is said to have promised to bring the most talented of his disciples to Hollywood.
But for many, it appears Goddard’s sought-after mentorship was also a pretense for his deviant sexual behavior. One alleged victim, Mark Driscoll, claims Goddard continuously sexually abused him over three years. “I knew I would have to experience things I didn’t want to” whenever the mentor visited, he told the LA Times; he spared the gritty details of his assaults, however.
While some of Goddard's accusers went on to success in Hollywood and elsewhere, the psychological scars of their experiences with Goddard have endured. Edwards and another former student also allege a former classmate, Scott Drnavich, opened up about his own assault before he passed away from HIV/AIDS in 1997. Close friends of the deceased actor say he confided in them as well, and that even as a grown man, he was still haunted by his abuse, which took a toll on his adult relationships.
It’s news to no one that Goddard is one name on an ever-expanding roster of powerful (or relatively powerful) men in Hollywood abusing said power through sexual impropriety. And while it’s useless to draw comparison to other cases—all of these stories are horrifying—Goddard’s scandal strikes one as particularly troubling for the fact that he preyed on (barely) adolescent boys who looked up to, if not depended, on him.
Goddard, now 65, has declined the LA Times request for an interview. Publicist Sam Singer dismissed the allegation, saying they were “full of innuendo and hearsay.” Singer also said, “If it were possible to prove a negative, Mr. Goddard would debate these 40-year-old allegations.”