Update: February 27, 2018 at 10:50 a.m.
E! News provided the following statement to Refinery29 regarding the recent allegations against Ryan Seacrest published in Variety.
"E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough. Over the course of a two month process, our outside counsel interviewed more than two dozen people regarding the allegations, including multiple separate meetings with the claimant and all firsthand witnesses that she provided. The investigator is an attorney with nearly 20 years experience and is highly regarded professionally. Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless."
Original story follows.
Ryan Seacrest's former stylist, a woman named Suzie Hardy, has come forward with accusations of sexual harassment and abuse. Speaking to Variety, Hardy accused Seacrest of having abused her for "years." When she described the abuse to the human resources department at E!, Hardy alleges, she lost her job. Hardy did not seek out human resources, she explained, but the department instead came to her to ask about the nature of her relationship with her boss.
The abuse included instances of inappropriate touching as well as verbal harassment. Hardy alleges that Seacrest would often hug her while only wearing his underwear, and once remarked, "I just don't think you're attracted to me." Seacrest also allegedly asked Hardy to come to his home in the middle of the night and once implored Hardy to "take a nap" with him.
Hardy, who is a single mother, told Variety that she suffered the abuse for so long so that she could be financially stable enough to support her daughter. "I was battling finally being in a decent financial position to breathe and be a mom, that I didn’t have to be freaking out all the time, and then dealing with this infantile celebrity person who was testing me on every level and manipulating me and knew that I was in a vulnerable position," Hardy said.
Hardy claimed that in 2010, Seacrest, after inquiring after Hardy's new relationship, reached down and grabbed Hardy's crotch. Hardy began crying, but when a co-worker suggested she report the assault, Hardy declined. In 2013, human resources interviewed Hardy about Seacrest. Hardy allegedly detailed the abuse, and was shortly informed that she would no longer work at E!.
In November of last year, Seacrest told media outlets that he was at the center of a sexual harassment investigation. In his statement, Seacrest denied any wrongdoing. At the time, Hardy remained anonymous, and the details of the case unpublished.
"Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her," Seacrest's statement read. "If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result."
In a statement to Variety, Seacrest's attorney once again denied the allegations. "It is upsetting to us that Variety is electing to run a ‘story’ about untrue allegations that were made against my client, after they were told that the accuser threatened to make those false claims against him unless he paid her $15 million," the statement reads. "At that time, the claimant threatened to issue a demonstrably false press statement unless she was paid. Instead, my client proactively and publicly denied the claims and agreed to fully cooperate with E!’s investigation about the matter.”
In early February of this year, Seacrest wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter entitled, "What Happened After I Was Wrongly Accused Of Sexual Harassment." Hardy told Variety that she was "shocked and insulted" over the column.
Refinery29 has reached out to E!, Seacrest, and Hardy for further comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call theRAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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