A man who accused prominent Hollywood movie moguls of operating a pedophile ring has been killed under suspicious circumstances.
Brian Claflin, 33, was killed in an apparent suicide after a train hit and killed him in a Berlin Subway. The incident occurred just after Brian sent an email to a lawyer accusing filmmaker Gary Goddard of raping him when he was a teenager.
Daily Mail reports: Claflin’s family, including his sister whom he shared the allegations with before his death, spoke out to the paper about their lingering questions about the case.
Goddard, who directed Masters Of The Universe in 1987 and has created theme park attractions for Walt Disney and Universal Studios, strenuously denied the allegations through a representative.
Perhaps under stress from drug withdrawal and the decision to speak out, Claflin grew increasingly paranoid in the weeks before his death, telling his parents that he feared men on the roof of his Berlin apartment were stalking him.
Three days before his death, which was ruled a ‘presumed suicide’, he texted his dad urging him to ‘have a handgun nearby’.
Claflin was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and came out as gay the summer before his senior year of high school.
That summer, he met a man in a gay night club who was visiting Salt Lake City from California.
The stranger told him he ‘was the most beautiful boy he’d ever met’ and that he knew ‘some very rich and powerful people that wanted to meet me and could possibly get me a job’, Claflin wrote in the letter to his lawyer.
The stranger flew Claflin out to Los Angeles on the day of his 18th birthday, and introduced him the co-founders of Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), an early content streaming startup of which Goddard was an investor.
DEN’s mansion headquarters in Encino has been the target of numerous allegations over the years. Co-founder Marc Collins-Rector pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender in 2004, admitting he’d lured minors with the promise of stardom and used them for sexual purposes.
Collins-Rector fled the country in 2006 and has been living abroad ever since.
Soon after Claflin flew out to LA, he said he began living in Goddard’s mansion in Beverly Hills, where he claims he fended off constant sexual advances from the filmmaker.
One night, Goddard and another man convinced Claflin to inhale nitrous oxide, the first time the teen had used drugs, he claimed in the statement. Claflin said that he passed out and when he awoke, he was being sexually assaulted and drugged further.
‘I was in a delirious state and remember saying NO, NO, NO, several times but they persisted… I just sort of shut down and went somewhere else in my head. After a while I remember praying aloud to God to just make it/them stop,’ he wrote in the letter obtained by the Times.
Goddard’s publicist Sam Singer strenuously denied the allegation in statements to the newspaper.
‘Anyone that actually knows Mr. Goddard would never make that claim because they would know that Mr. Goddard has never done drugs of any kind, ever,’ Singer said, adding that Claflin had often been dishonest in his dealings with Goddard and others.
Claflin became itinerant, traveling the world and even relying on Goddard for financial support along the way. ‘Mr. Goddard was there for Brian throughout his adult life — and at times of his greatest need — when no one else would help,’ Singer said.
He began drinking and using drugs heavily, and contracted HIV.
In 2008, he moved to Berlin, where he gave an interview two years later describing his lifestyle as an artist and ‘rent boy’.
In April 2014, Goddard and the X-Men director Bryan Singer, both DEN investors, were sued by actor Michael Egan III, who alleged that they had sexually assaulted him when he was a minor and even filmed some of the assaults. The suit later imploded and was withdrawn, before Egan was imprisoned on an unrelated fraud conviction.
Claflin heard about the lawsuit and contacted attorney Jeff Herman, who was representing Egan, and wrote the email accusing Goddard.
He began to tell friends about powerful men in Hollywood who wanted him dead.
On June 5, the operators of the train that struck Claflin said that they saw him standing alone on the tracks, and were unable to brake in time to avoid hitting him.
His cause of death was listed as ‘massive head trauma resulting from presumed suicide by train impact’. Claflin’s death was not covered in the Berlin papers, aside from the train delay, or in the US until the LA Times investigation.
‘Mr. Goddard considers it a tragedy that he died as he did,’ Goddard’s publicist Singer said. ‘He finds it hurtful that his kindnesses to Brian are now somehow being twisted into a negative.’
In the years since Claflin’s death, Goddard has been the subject of other sexual misconduct allegations.
In November, ER actor Anthony Edwards, now 55, alleged in an essay that Goddard molested him before the age of 14 and raped his best friend, whom he did not name.
Goddard denied the claims at the time and took a leave of absence from the company he founded.