Ryan Seacrest hosts Live with Kelly and Ryan every day. Next month, he will return as host of American Idol, and on Sunday night, he will host the Red Carpet at the Oscars, where celebrities in 2018 would typically be asked MeToo questions.
The only thing is, Seacrest has his own MeToo scandal hanging over his head. A former stylist accused him, with a fair deal of specificity, of engaging in years of harassment (and now there’s even a witness), an “independent” investigation cleared him of charges, and Seacrest continued to deny those allegations yesterday, basically suggested that he’d been exonerated after an investigation and that Suzie Hardy had tried to blackmail him.
“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.”
At this point, it’s not really a legal matter, but a PR matter, and Scandal star Bellamy Young got caught up in it, saying yesterday that Ryan Seacrest should step aside as host of the Red Carpet ceremony. Apparently, someone got to her, and now she is apologizing, saying that she did not realize that Seacrest had been “cleared” after an investigation.
“I have an apology to make. On Monday night on the red carpet, I spoke on record about something I had no first-hand knowledge of. I trusted that the information that the journalist provided me with was complete, and I gave my general opinion based on the information he provided …
I apologize to Ryan Seacrest. He has been exonerated from the allegations I was told about on the carpet, so my opinion is different now. I just want to clarify that anyone who uses my quote going forward is using the quote of an uninformed person and fanning the flames of a non-story by making use of an unwitting accomplice.
I’ve learned that ‘I don’t know’ can be a complete answer.
I will do better next time.”
Now the witness who came forward to back Hardy’s story noted, “She would go to tie his shoe and Ryan would shove her head toward his crotch. I saw that more than once,” an allegation that made this clip from this morning’s Live with Kelly and Ryan a little awkward:
… Awkward— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 28, 2018
Kelly Ripa Jokes About Ryan Seacrest's 'Shoes' Amid Sexual Misconduct Accusation pic.twitter.com/KupOW6TBJT
We’re in muddy waters now. We’re inclined to believe Hardy. But there was an investigation that cleared Seacrest. But Hardy says that the investigation was biased. Ryan Seacrest is a one-man industry, a man with a great deal of power, and there are several networks — with billions of dollars backing them — who have a stake in the outcome, and likely capable of tipping the scales of that “independent” investigation, so does that nullify the results of the investigation? I mean, in a matter of speaking, Seacrest did get due process here, and due process came out in his favor, but the cloud still hangs. I mean, I want to believe in the system, but I have seen Seven Seconds: The system is fucked. And then there was that Kathy Griffin thing, but then again, there haven’t been any other accusations so far, and in cases like these, there usually are. But maybe they just haven’t surfaced yet.
I dunno! Until recently, I thought Seacrest was an asexual android, but I also understand the power that he wields, and the ability to use that power like we have discovered a lot of men have been doing, so he gets a very skeptical eye from me.