‘Attracted in the sickest way’: Masters of the Universe producer accused of sex abuse by 8 former child actors

The aftershocks of Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein scandal are still quaking.

Gary Goddard Entertainment is among many Southern California theme park design businesses that have been getting work in China thanks to a surge in demand for leisure activities in Asia. Photo by Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Celebrated writer, producer and Hollywood mogul Gary Goddard is under fire after eight former child actors accused him of sexual misconduct.

Goddard, a native Californian, became Hollywood royalty as a well-known theatre prodigy and started a group to mentor child actors in the 1970’s. His most notable achievement was writing and producing 1987’s “Masters of the Universe.”  He also launched successful ventures on Broadway and designed some of world’s most famous movie-related theme park attractions.

But some of the actors Goddard took under his wing as children claim he isn’t the upstanding man he appeared to be.

“This is a man who’s attracted to little boys, and attracted in the sickest way,” actor Anthony Edwards told the LA Times. Edwards is an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor known for roles in “Top Gun” and “ER.”

Anthony Edwards arrives to the premiere of the film City Island, in New York, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

“This is not love, this is not friendship what he was doing. It is a horror because it is manipulating young hearts and minds.”

Edwards was one of the child actors known in Hollywood circles as “Goddardites.” Several of those young actors went on to launch successful careers in acting and other industries, but are now speaking out about what they say went on behind closed doors.

Goddard’s publicist Sam Singer denied the allegations calling them “full of innuendo and hearsay.”

“If it were possible to prove a negative, Mr. Goddard would debate these 40-year-old allegations,” Singer said.

But several of Goddard’s former protégés have been steadfast in their accusations, and have required ongoing therapy, the Times reported.

Along with fellow former child actors, Edwards blasted Goddard in an essay published last month and accused the Hollywood mogul of sexual abusing the group of young boys.

The Times reported:

They describe Goddard’s advances as ranging from straying hands on thighs during lulls in a production or fondling in a darkened Disneyland ride, to repeated incidents of sexual abuse during a troupe’s overnight stays in a statewide tour. In addition, Edwards and another former theater student said in interviews that a classmate who has since died, Scott Drnavich, told them that he was sexually assaulted by Goddard as a boy.

 

Mark Driscoll recalled Goddard being a larger than life mentor to the young actors, and while they respected his talent and yearned to learn the craft, Goddard took sick advantage of his power over them.

“I knew I would have to experience things I didn’t want to” Driscoll said of Goddard’s visits. The former child actor accused Goddard of repeated sexual abuse over the course of three years.

While Driscoll didn’t give the Times specifics, four former classmates told the Times that Driscoll had informed them of the abuse two-decades ago.

Some of the worst allegations come from Goddard’s Santa Barbara based theatre group’s 1977 production of “Peter Pan.”

Barbara Costa was the production’s self-described “mother-hen” and told the Times that she saw red-flags with Goddard.

Costa was hired to look after the young actors, but became “highly suspicious” of Goddard’s behavior on the tour, and claimed the producer insisted on sleeping in the same room with the boys.

On one night while the troupe stayed in Lake Tahoe, Costa said she witnessed Edwards walking as if he was in pain with an “awful expression on his face as if he was about to cry,” the Times reported.

Edwards said he didn’t remember that particular incident, but two of Edward’s former “Peter Pan” cast mates described witnessing Goddard molesting Edwards during that tour.

 

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