Gary Goddard has taken a leave of absence from The Goddard Group, the LA-based entertainment design firm he founded and of which he is CEO. The move comes in the wake of allegations of sexual molestation made against the writer-producer by actor Anthony Edwards and is immediately effective, according to a statement by the company’s COO, Barry Kemper, which was released late Monday night.
Kemper said Goddard took the leave to allow the company and its employees to continue their projects undistracted by the recent allegations made against him. “We believe this move is in the best interest of the company, its employees and clients,” Kemper added.
Earlier this month, Edwards accused Goddard of molesting him when the actor was 14, publishing an essay on Medium headlined, “Yes Mom, There Is Something Wrong.” In it, the ER alum and Law & Order: True Crime actor wrote: “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.”
A rep for Goddard later issued a statement denying the allegations. In the days following Edwards’ post, two other men, also via posts on Medium, accused Goddard of abuse.
Taylor Jeffs will assume the role of President and Chief Creative Officer of The Goddard Group where he has been Director of Design for over 14 years. The company is involved in the creation and design of international theme parks, retail centers and other attractions.