LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hollywood designer Gary Goddard is taking leave from his company amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

Goddard Group chief operating officer Barry Kemper announced in a press release late Monday night that Goddard would take “a leave of absence” from the company. Kemper says Goddard’s absence will “allow the company and its employees to continue their projects undistracted by recent allegations made against him.” He says the move is “in the best interest of the company, its employees and clients.”

Goddard has denied accusations from actor Anthony Edwards and another actor, who say Goddard molested them when they were children.

In a detailed essay published to Medium, Edwards, now 55, recalls meeting Goddard when he was just 12 years old. He also says his best friend was raped by the producer, who is best known for his work on films like “Masters of the Universe” and several theme park attractions for Universal Studios and Six Flags.

“Pedophiles prey on the weak. My father, who suffered from undiagnosed PTSD from WWII, was not emotionally available. Everyone has the need to bond, and I was no exception. My vulnerability was exploited. 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 writes.

He adds, “I happened to run into Gary Goddard at an airport. I was able to express my outrage at what he had done. He 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.”

A spokesman for Goddard “unequivocally” denied the allegations in a statement provided to CBS News.

Goddard has designed several theme park attractions based on Hollywood films. He has worked as a Broadway producer and directed 1987’s “Masters Of The Universe,” a live action film based on the He-Man cartoon.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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