We cannot emphasize this enough: It’s not just women who have suffered at the hands of Hollywood sexual predators. Men have been victims, too. And this morning, another man came forward.
Earlier today, actor Anthony Edwards shared his own story, alleging that writer/producer and theme park designer Gary Goddard molested him when he was just 14 years old:
— Anthony Edwards (@anthonyedwards) November 10, 2017
When I was 14 years old, my mother opened the door for me to answer honestly about the rumors she had heard about Gary Goddard — who was my mentor, teacher and friend — being a pedophile. I denied it through tears of complete panic. To face that truth was not an option as my sense of self was completely enmeshed in my gang of five friends who were all led by this sick father figure. 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.
Why? One of the most tragic effects of sexual abuse in children is that the victims often feel deeply responsible — as if it is somehow their fault. With their sick form of control, abusers exploit a child’s natural desire to bond. The victims are required to play by the abuser’s rules, or else they are “out” — banished from the only world they know. Abusers are successful when they keep control of that little world — a world that is based on fear. The use of fear to control and manipulate can be both obvious and subtle. Abusers will often use the word “love” to define their horrific actions, which constitutes a total betrayal of trust. 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. For far too many years, I held onto the idea that love was conditional — and so I would look for someone or something other than my higher self to define those conditions and requirements for me.
While the dam may only be breaking now, it’s clear that Hollywood’s sexual predator problem has existed for decades.
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) November 10, 2017
Thank you for sharing this painful memory with a total stranger like me. Heartbreaking
— Chris Carroll (@rirugrat) November 10, 2017
Thank you for your strength and bravery in sharing this story.
— Lee Neugebauer (@leeneugebauer) November 10, 2017
After years of struggling, Edwards has come to terms with what happened to him.
I did not go from being a victim to a survivor alone. No one does. I had to ask for help, and I am so grateful that I did.
Sadly, so many other victims never get there.
THANK YOU. I am a victim too, and am just now seeking therapy to deal with everything that happened to me as a young child. I'm sorry that you were attacked too. <3
— Jodi P (@JodesinAZ) November 10, 2017
I am so sorry. May your strength and forthrightness guide others.
— Janet Gershen-Siegel (@shrinkingjes) November 10, 2017
Thank you for that heartbreaking and courageous piece. I am sorry that happened to you and your friends. Thank you for speaking up – it will help others and will remind us all to be watchful and willing to listen and speak up.
— Writer_Yogini (@Writer_Yogini) November 10, 2017
Thank you for sharing this deeply personal story. It will give other victims strength and hope on their journey to survivor.
— Karen Rose (@KarenRoseBooks) November 10, 2017
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so important for us to share our stories. I am not ready yet, but I can say #metoo.
— KeepLookingUp? (@fringebutterfly) November 10, 2017