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Producer Gary Goddard Faces 7 More Child Molestation Accusers

Accusations come after former ”ER“ star Anthony Edwards said Goddard abused him as a child

Broadway producer Gary Goddard is facing accusations from seven more accusers from a Santa Barbara theater group that he sexually molested or attempted to molest them as children.

Accounts in the Los Angeles Times story range from straying hands on thighs or fondling during a Disneyland ride to sexual abuse during overnight stays. This kind of behavior, said the accusers, made them avoid being alone in a car with Goddard or closest to his bed during these overnight stays.

Former actor Mark Driscoll told the LA Times that Goddard repeatedly sexually abused him over the span of three years, saying he “knew I would have to experience things I didn’t want to” when the producer visited. Four classmates told the publication that Driscoll had previously told them about the abuse two decades ago.

These new accusations come almost a month after Goddard announced 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, followed accusations by “ER” star Anthony Edwards earlier last month that Goddard had molested the young actor when he was a child.

“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.”

Bret Nighman, a former actor who met the producer when he was 13, said that Goddard attempted to molest him on four different occasions when he was 16. In 1977, Goddard allegedly rubbed Nighman’s crotch and forced the young actor to do the same. In his own online essay, Nighman said he watched Goddard climb into Edwards’ bed and sexually molest him. Edwards corroborated these accounts, telling The Times in an email, “Yes, Gary Goddard molested me on the Peter Pan tour.”

Linus Huffman, who starred in Goddard’s “Oliver!” when he was 13, said Goddard used the power of mentoring as an excuse 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.”

Scott Drnavich, who has since died, told Edwards, according to the former “ER” actor, that he was sexually assaulted by Goddard when he was a boy. Edwards said that Drnavich told him that Goddard had sexually molested him on “multiple occasions,” and another friend of Drnavich corroborated that.

Other accusers say Goddard masturbated him on a drive home from Disneyland, fondled him in a sleeping bag, or that there were “surprise attacks” that involved “aggressive kissing.” A fourth man said that on his overnight visits to Florida where Goddard was directing stage shows for Disney World, Goddard forced him to sleep in the same bed as him, where he would masturbate him.

Driscoll said that the group of men from the theater group drove to Goddard’s home one night to confront him, who “listened to their grievances and apologized.”

Barbara Costa, hired to care for the boys and girls of Goddard’s “Peter Pan” production, was suspicious of the producer’s closeness with the kids, according to The Times. She said he insisted on keeping a room divider to separate the adult actors from the kid actors at night, but slept on the boys’ side anyway.

“This is a man who’s attracted to little boys, and attracted in the sickest way,” Edwards said. “This is not love, this is not friendship what he was doing. It is a horror because it is manipulating young hearts and minds.”

In 2014, Goddard was named in a lawsuit by Michael Egan, alongside “X-Men” director Bryan Singer and two other executives, accusing them of sexually abusing him as a teenager. That lawsuit was later dropped.

His publicist, Sam Singer, disputed the accusations to TheWrap, saying they were “full of innuendo and hearsay.”

“If it were possible to prove a negative, Mr. Goddard would debate these 40 year old allegations. Since that is not possible he will not respond other than to repeat his previous categorical denial,” Singer said. “Mr. Goddard is at a loss to understand the attacks that have been made full of innuendo and hearsay. How does one respond to people who were not involved, yet who now think back 40 years to something, and then assign their own meaning today without knowing all of the facts?”