Ryan Seacrest is denying new details of alleged sexual harassment made against him by his former stylist at E! News that emerged this week.
“I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest,” said Seacrest on Tuesday in a statement obtained by TheWrap.
On Tuesday night, his former stylist Suzie Hardy hit back in a separate statement, calling Seacrest’s claim to have been recused “a false narrative.”
Variety reported Monday new details, from a November 2017 letter to Seacrest, E! and NBC Universal, of the alleged misconduct by Seacrest. His former stylist Suzie Hardy’s accusations against Seacrest included “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.”
Variety cited a former co-worker of Hardy’s at E! News who said Hardy described an incident to him in 2008 of Seacrest sliding his hand under her crotch. “He said that he saw Seacrest trip Hardy on numerous occasions, and that he also saw Seacrest multiple times push Hardy’s head into his crotch while she was tying his shoes,” Variety reported. Seacrest said in his statement Tuesday that Variety did not speak with him prior to their report.
In a tweet Tuesday, Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller said “We asked to speak to Seacrest directly and his reps declined to make him available. Seacrest’s reps claimed to have evidence discrediting the accuser, Suzie Hardy, but refused to provide that as well, citing legal restrictions.”
Responding to a quote by @RyanSeacrest in a @THR story posted today, in which Seacrest claims that “Variety didn’t speak with me” or even ask for evidence obtained during the investigation of sexual misconduct allegations, we want to set the record straight… 1/3
— Claudia Eller (@Variety_Claudia) February 27, 2018
Details of Hardy’s accusations were previously unknown. Seacrest 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.”
Hardy decided to come forward after being inspired by the #MeToo movement that emerged after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the November letter from her lawyer stated.
Seacrest’s lawyer Andrew Baum said Monday 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.”
“This person who has accused me of horrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused,” Seacrest said in his Tuesday statement.
Hardy’s attorney has not responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
E! News conducted an investigation after the network became aware of the accusations against Seacrest, and on Feb. 1 said that “insufficient evidence” was found to support the allegations. After the investigation concluded, Seacrest wrote a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter, in which he said “to have my workplace conduct questioned was gut-wrenching.”
“E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough,” an E! Spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap on Monday after Variety’s story was published.
“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 network’s statement continued. “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.”
Seacrest’s busy schedule doesn’t seem to be affected by the new details of Hardy’s accusations. He’s set to host E!’s ‘Live from the Red Carpet’ at the Oscars on Sunday “as scheduled,” and no word was mentioned of the accusations against him on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” on Tuesday morning.
See Seacrest’s full statement below.
Much has been said about the #MeToo and Times Up movement(s) and the importance of providing women and men with the opportunity to share their stories of workplace misconduct, in an effort to change our culture and the systemic inequalities that exist. I absolutely support this cause unequivocally and applaud all the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories.
Sadly, last fall I became one of the accused, which I promptly revealed proactively to the network involved and to the public. And to be equally clear, those accusations were then investigated by an independent third-party over the course of a two-month process and involved dozens of interviews that included me, the accused and countless others. Ultimately, my name was cleared. I eagerly participated in the investigation in order to demonstrate my innocence because I know my truth, and I believe in due process.
Yesterday, VARIETY published a salacious story that revealed the specific claims against me for the first time – even though an independent third-party investigator found insufficient evidence to support the claims. Much to my dismay, Variety didn’t speak with me or bother to speak with other credible witnesses or even ask for any of the evidence that was obtained during the investigation when offered, all of which clearly challenged the veracity of the claims made against me.
This person who has accused me of horrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused. I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don’t take my opportunities for granted. I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest.