Last week, actress Chloe Dykstra published an essay for Medium in which she alleged an unnamed ex-boyfriend was emotionally and sexually abusive towards her. Following the accusation, many pointed to Talking Dead host and Nerdist co-founder Chris Hardwick as the alleged perpetrator. Nerdist and its parent company Legendary Entertainment have since distanced themselves from Hardwick in a public statement, and AMC stated that it is holding episodes of his show, Talking with Chris Hardwick, pending an investigation.
Now, Hardwick's wife, model and actress Lydia Hearst, has come to her husband's defense. In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Hearst said:
"This is not a statement in defense, this is a statement of defense. Defense for all the women who have been sexually abused, raped, trafficked, and tortured; defense of all the people who this movement was started for. Over the last year the #MeToo movement has rightly aimed a spotlight directly on women whose stories needed to be told. As someone who has been involved in toxic relationships in the past, I know first-hand the importance of sharing these stories and do not take this situation lightly."
"I have made the decision to come out in support of my husband not out of obligation, but out of necessity to speak the truth about the person I know. Chris is nothing but loving and compassionate and is the only person who has stood by me, never judged me, helped me heal, and feel whole. To defend my husband would be giving credence to any of these accusations. I will not do that. Chris Hardwick is a good man."
"These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I've taken the day to consider how to respond... I was heartbroken to read Chloe's post," Hardwick said. "Our three year relationship was not perfect — we were ultimately not a good match and argued — even shouted at each other — but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her."
Refinery29 has reached out to Hearst for comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).