Producer Gary Goddard announced Tuesday that he would take a leave of absence from the L.A.-based entertainment design firm The Goddard Group where he had served as CEO.
The leave, effective immediately, follows accusations by “ER” star Anthony Edwards earlier this month that Goddard had molested the young actor when he was a child.
Taylor Jeffs will assume the role of president and chief creative officer, Goddard Group COO Barry Kemper said in a statement.
Goddard, speaking through his publicist, Sam Singer, has “unequivocally” denied Edwards’ accusations in an essay on Medium that the entertainment executive abused him and his friends when he was 12 years old.
“Gary was a mentor, teacher and a friend to Anthony, which makes this story all the more disturbing to him,” Singer said in a statement earlier this month. “As to the allegations that Mr. Edwards made in his post today, I can unequivocally deny them on Gary’s behalf.”
“My vulnerability was exploited,” Edwards wrote. “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 went on to write that, as an adult, he confronted Goddard, who “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.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.