The former E! Network stylist who accused Ryan Seacrest of sexual abuse said on Tuesday that Seacrest’s statement that he was cleared of any wrongdoing is a “false narrative.”
“I remained quiet for years out of fears that my story wouldn’t be believed and that I would be subject to scorn and ridicule for telling it,” Suzie Hardy said in a statement to Variety. “I was emboldened by the bravery of others to finally and confidentially tell my story to NBC. Ryan elected to take the story public with a false narrative that he was exonerated and the victim of some sort of money grab. He is not the victim, and I refuse to let him victimize me for telling the truth.”
On Monday, Variety reported new details about Hardy’s accusations against Seacrest, which 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.”
Seacrest’s lawyer said later that day that it was “upsetting” that Variety chose to run Hardy’s story, and asserted 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.”
In a statement obtained Tuesday by TheWrap, Seacrest said he didn’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.”
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. “E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough,” an E! spokesperson said in a statement.
Representatives for Seacrest did not immediately respond to a request from TheWrap for comment about Hardy’s latest statement. Hardy’s attorney also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.