Theme park designer Gary Goddard has stepped down from the design firm that bears his name, following accusations of sexual abuse.
The Goddard Group's COO announced this morning that founder Gary Goddard has taken a leave of absence from the firm, effective immediately. Barry Kemper said in a statement that Taylor Jeffs is assuming the role of President and Chief Creative Officer of the company. A former research specialist for The Walt Disney Company, Jeffs has worked at The Goddard Group for 14 years, most recently as its Director of Design.
"We believe this move is in the best interest of the company, its employees and clients," Kemper added.
Actor Anthony Edwards ("ER") earlier this month accused Goddard of molesting him when he was a teenager. Goddard has denied the accusation. The Goddard Group deleted its social media accounts and temporarily shut down its website following the accusation, but the website is back up and the firm again did have a booth on the show floor at the recent IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando.
"The Goddard Group, the creator and designer of some of the world’s leading attractions and experiences, continues to successfully operate and do business nationally and internationally on its projects at destination resorts, casinos, theme parks and retail experiences," the company said in its statement.
Prior to forming The Goddard Group, Gary Goddard worked on multiple attractions for Universal Studios in the 1990s, including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Jurassic Park: The Ride, and the recently closed Terminator 2 3D.
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