UPDATED (February 27): A statement from Ryan Seacrest has been added below.
Ryan Seacrest has responded to the sexual allegation made against him by his former “E! News” personal stylist Suzie Hardy. The “Live with Ryan and Kelly” co-host said that supports the Time’s Up and #MeToo anti-harassment movements while denying the claims made against him, and asserting that Hardy attempted to extort him:
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 accuser 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.
In a report published by Variety on February 26, Hardy said she was subject to “years of unwanted sexual aggression” while working for Seacrest from 2006 to 2013. Hardy alleges Seacrest rubbed his erect penis against her while wearing underwear and groped her vagina, among other examples of unwanted physical harassment. Seacrest denied Hardy’s claims when reached for comment by Variety.
Sources told IndieWire that E! Entertainment Television has no current plans to remove Ryan Seacrest from its upcoming red carpet coverage of the 90th Academy Awards. The E! host will appear live from the red carpet along with Giuliana Rancic as scheduled.