Hollywood executives Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard have issued strong denials of accusations of sexually abusing underage teenage boys.
The execs were each named in separate lawsuits filed Monday in Hawaii federal court by Michael Egan (pictured, above), who alleged that he had been coerced into sex in California and Hawaii in 1998 and 1999. The suits were filed five days after Egan sued director Bryan Singer and made similar allegations.
An attorney for Ancier denied the accusations against the high-profile TV exec, adding that Ancier had never visited an estate in Hawaii where Egan alleges that Ancier sodomized him in 1999.
“All of the allegations made by the plaintiffs against Garth Ancier are demonstrably untrue, and we are confident the courts will agree when the evidence is presented,” said Louise Ann Fernandez of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell. “As just one of many examples, Mr. Ancier has never even visited the estate in Hawaii where the plaintiff claims to have encountered him. Mr. Ancier is grateful to his friends, family and colleagues for their support.”
Ancier is the former president of BBC Worldwide America and also served as head of programming for Fox, NBC and the WB. He’s also the head of year-old Quad Media Partners, formed to launch four fully curated linear TV networks.
Goddard heads a design firm in Los Angeles that has created theme park attractions for Universal Studios. He also heads the Goddard Group, which has produced live shows on and off Broadway.
Alan Grodin, an attorney for Goddard and a partner at Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin, issued an emphatic denial.
“Having had the opportunity to review the allegations in the complaint filed against our client, Mr. Gary Goddard, we can say that the allegations against him are categorically denied,” Grodin said.
“Mr. Goddard was not in Hawaii with Mr. Egan,” Grodin said. “He did not molest or touch or annoy Mr. Egan or commit any of the acts alleged. Also, he did not furnish drugs or alcohol to any minor at any time.”
Grodin pointed out that the suit against Goddard is similar to the other three suits.
“We have also reviewed the complaints filed against other defendants by Mr. Egan,” Grodin said. “The ‘cookie-cutter’ allegations in all of the complaints filed by Mr. Egan are so fantastical as to be unbelievable on their face.”
Grodin also noted that Egan was among the plaintiffs who filed a civil suit in 2000 against Michael Collins-Rector and others over alleged sexual abuse, in a case in which a default judgment was entered against the defendants, according to court records. Collins-Rector is described in Egan’s lawsuits as the resident of the Encino estate where wild parties were held in which underage boys were given drugs and alcohol and forced to perform sex with older men.
“His suit filed in 2000 against other parties referenced in the complaints made no mention of any alleged trips to the state of Hawaii,” Grodin said. “Filing the complaints in Hawaii is a blatant attempt by Mr. Egan of forum shopping.”
The Egan suits were filed in federal court in Hawaii, which has an April 24 cutoff date for old sex abuse cases to be filed under a two-year window established by the state legislature, which temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in civil sex abuse cases.
“Our client Mr. Goddard intends to vigorously defend this suit, to uphold his good name and reputation,” Grodin said. “We are confident that the objective facts will demonstrate that the allegations against Mr. Goddard are false.”
Neuman, the former president of Disney TV, has responded in a series of tweets.
The combined tweets read: “Hey everyone: obviously I have to be talking to and through lawyers, but I just want everyone to know right now that the disgusting allegations made against me are COMPLETELY FALSE. Also very shocking in that they don’t just stretch the truth, they are whole-cloth lies with zero basis in reality or truth. Sickening, and very evil, for anyone to lie like that, let alone in a legal document. Stay tuned; I will set the record straight. And thank you to the many friends who have reached out to me with messages of faith and support. I deeply appreciate it.”
Neuman then tweeted the Wikipedia link for the Biblical verse “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
Neuman previously worked for Digital Entertainment Network, which was headed by Marc Collins-Rector, who was cited as being involved in the sexual activity at the heart of Egan’s original lawsuit against director Singer.
As with the suit against Singer, Egan made four claims against each of the three execs — intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery and invasion of privacy by unreasonable intrusion. Each of the suits recounted in explicit detail the sexual acts that took allegedly place between Egan and each of the men in Hawaii in 1999.
“Somebody has to stand up to these people,” said the 31-year-old Egan.