Fame and celebrity

‘Attracted to little boys, in the sickest way’: eight former child actors accuse producer Gary Goddard of sexual abuse

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 December, 2017, 2:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 December, 2017, 2:42pm

More former child actors are coming forward to accuse producer Gary Goddard of sexual misconduct following claims made by ER actor Anthony Edwards.

In a Los Angeles Times report published Wednesday, eight former child actors claim they were sexually harassed by the producer.

Though Goddard was often viewed as a mentor, former actors Bret Nighman and Mark Driscoll claim they had to endure unwanted sexual advances from him when they were children.

Driscoll alleges Goddard repeatedly sexually abused him over the course of three years. Nighman claims Goddard attempted to molest him on four occasions when he was in his teens and later rubbed his crotch.

Linus Huffman, who acted in Goddard’s Oliver! when he was 13, claims the producer used mentoring as a means to touch him.

“He pulled me aside and put his hands on my legs and went, ‘I’m very proud of you,’ and was going towards my crotch area,” Huffman told the Los Angeles Times.

Edwards and three other people told the paper that Scott Drnavich, another former actor who died in 1977, told them he was sexually assaulted by Goddard.

Four other men, who were unnamed, also alleged Goddard sexually abused them when they were children.

In a statement, Goddard’s spokesperson Sam Singer called the allegations “attacks,” describing them as “full of innuendo and hearsay.”

“If it were possible to prove a negative, Mr Goddard would debate these 40-year-old allegations,” the statement read. “Since that is not possible he will not respond other than to repeat his previous categorical denial.”

Singer also addressed the relationship between Goddard and the late Drnavich.

“Mr Goddard enjoyed a close friendship with Scott Drnavich throughout his life,” he wrote. “It has been suggested that there was an inappropriate relationship between Gary and Scott. Unfortunately, Scott is no longer with us to deny this and cannot speak for himself, but in letters and cards sent to Mr Goddard by Scott over the course of his life, this written correspondence does speak for Scott and demonstrates they had a warm and positive relationship throughout their lives, right up through Scott’s passing.”

These allegations follow claims made by Edwards, who accused Goddard of molesting him in an essay that was published on the website Medium on November 10.

Edwards wrote that Goddard had cynically manipulated young boys to satisfy his desires – and had raped Edwards’ best friend.

“This is a man who’s attracted to little boys, and attracted in the sickest way,” he wrote.

Less than a month later, Goddard took a leave of absence from the entertainment design firm he founded, The Goddard Group.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse