It was business as usual on the set of Tuesday’s “Live With Kelly and Ryan” — with no mention of the sexual misconduct accusations against co-host Ryan Seacrest.
On Monday, Variety reported that former E! stylist Suzie Hardy accused Seacrest of subjecting her “to years of unwanted sexual aggression” while she worked for him from 2006-2013, including “grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear, groping her vagina, and at one point slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later.”
Seacrest’s lawyer said that it was “upsetting” that Variety chose to run Hardy’s story, saying that Hardy threatened to make the “false claims” if she did not receive $15 million. Hardy’s attorney told Variety that “neither he nor Hardy has asked Seacrest, E!, or the cable channel’s corporate parents for any money.”
During the usual bantering session between Kelly Ripa and Seacrest that opens the syndicated show, the co-hosts made no mention of the accusations or the new details that had emerged.
Reps for “Live” had no comment and Seacrest’s rep did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Seacrest, who hosts a series of radio shows as well as ABC’s upcoming reboot of “American Idol,” announced on Nov. 17 that E! was investigating an allegation of misconduct against him by “someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News.”
On Feb. 1, E! released a statement saying that the independent investigation into Hardy’s claims found “insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest.”
“E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough,” an E! Spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap Monday. “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. 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.”