×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gary Goddard Takes Leave From Goddard Group Following Molestation Allegations

Gary Goddard has taken a leave of absence from entertainment design company the Goddard Group in the wake of recent molestation allegations from Anthony Edwards and Bret Douglas Nighman.

Goddard, founder and CEO of the company, will begin his leave effective immediately, according to an announcement made late Monday night by Chief Operating Officer Barry Kemper. Taylor Jeffs is assuming the role of president and chief creative officer of the company, Kemper said.

Jeffs has served for more than 14 years as the Goddard Group’s director of design, working on major international theme parks, museums, retail centers, destination resorts, and live entertainment projects. He was previously at the Walt Disney Company.

Kemper also said Goddard took the leave to allow the company and its employees to continue their projects undistracted by recent allegations made against him. “We believe this move is in the best interest of the company, its employees, and clients,” Kemper added.

Goddard has denied Edwards and Nighman’s accusations. Edwards accused Goddard on Nov. 10, in a detailed post on Medium, of molesting him repeatedly from the time he was 12 years old.

Nighman alleged in a Nov. 20 article on the site that he and Edwards met in an acting class and later toured together in a stage production of “Peter Pan” that Goddard directed when they were teens.

“One night while on tour, I awoke to find Goddard trying to get into my bed, under my covers, and into my underwear,” Nighman wrote. “I fought him off and pushed him away. Although it was dark, I saw him force his way into Tony’s bed  —  which was about 12 feet from mine. I thought that Tony would fight him off, too. I lay in my bed with my heart pounding and listened as one of my best friends who I loved got sexually molested. I was scared, in shock, heartbroken, and confused.”

Goddard again denied the accusations and noted that Edwards’ post referenced a legal claim made four years ago regarding sexual harassment. Goddard was caught up in the 2014 sexual abuse lawsuit filed by Michael Egan III against Bryan Singer and several other Hollywood execs, which was dismissed. Goddard said the claim was “demonstrated to be fraudulent as it was completely fabricated.”

More Film

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Elton John performing at Earls Court,

    Elton John Has a Message for Struggling LGBTQ Youth: 'Be Proud of Who You Are'

    Elton John isn’t at a loss for words when asked if he has a message for young LGBTQ people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. In an exclusive interview with Variety at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, just hours before the world premiere of his long-in-the-works biopic “Rocketman,” John spoke candidly about the [...]

  • Salma Hayek Owen Wilson Bliss

    Salma Hayek, Owen Wilson to Star in Amazon's Sci-Fi Drama 'Bliss'

    Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson have signed on to star in Amazon’s science-fiction drama “Bliss,” with Mike Cahill directing from his own script. Wilson portrays a recently divorced man whose life is falling apart when he meets Hayek’s character, a woman who lives on the streets and is convinced that the polluted, broken world around [...]

  • Donald Glover Beyonce

    Beyoncé and Donald Glover Harmonize in 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' Ad Preview

    Anyone who’s longed to hear Beyoncé and Donald Glover harmonizing got just enough to further whet the appetite in a first snippet of their version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” that’s included in a new commercial for Disney’s upcoming “Lion King” remake. The TV spot lasts just 30 seconds, hardly time at all [...]

  • Pride Allies

    The Hollywood Allies Who Helped Protect, Advance the LGBTQ Community This Year

    Strong and proud as it is, the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality needs allies — from loving and accepting families to galvanized colleagues and corporations to the movie star you’ve never met calling for boycotts of a homophobic nation-state. Several of those queer supporters in Hollywood and music used the megaphones of social media, public [...]

  • 'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works

    'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works From Original Screenwriter (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nearly a decade after the success of “Easy A,” a spinoff of the coming-of-age comedy is in the works. Sources tell Variety that Screen Gems has appointed Bert Royal, who penned the first script, to write and direct the upcoming movie. Insiders stress that the film is still in early development, as Royal is still [...]

  • Screen writer Beau WillimonMary Queen of

    Beau Willimon Running Unopposed for Re-Election as President of Writers Guild East

    Beau Willimon, the playwright and showrunner who launched Netflix’s “House of Cards,” is running unopposed for re-election to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East. Willimon also ran unopposed in 2017 to succeed Michael Winship. The WGA East announced a total of 24 candidates Thursday for its top officer posts [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content