Ryan Seacrest Accused of Sexual Abuse By Former Stylist at E! Network
Variety released their investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against TV presenter Ryan Seacrest by his former stylist. In the piece, Suzie Hardy details alleged instances of ‘unwanted sexual aggression’ that included him ‘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.’ Hardy claimed that she had been subjected to the abuse for years before she reported Seacrest to Human Resources in 2013. Her employment ended shortly afterward.
The allegations had been made public last November when Seacrest made them so in a statement that revealed E! were investigating the case. Three months later, the network said they had found ‘insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest.’ Ms Hardy said that she felt, during these investigations, that ‘it was obvious the investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest’s side.’ She also claimed that the investigator never contacted the multiple witnesses she referred him to who would have been able to corroborate her story.
On multiple occasions, Hardy said, she traveled at Seacrest’s request to his home to dress him, and also to the “American Idol” set, where he had another stylist. At one point, she said, he asked her through his assistant to come to his house after 8 p.m. to tie a necktie for him, a request Hardy refused. She said that when she expressed to Seacrest’s assistant concern about the propriety of going to the host’s house alone in the middle of the night, the assistant encouraged her to bring her young daughter with her as a form of protection.
According to the letter, Seacrest’s behavior became more physical and aggressive beginning with an incident that took place in his E! dressing room — Hardy said in an interview that the event took place in 2007 — in which Seacrest, while wearing only underwear, wrapped her in what the letter described as “a bear hug,” and did not let go until his assistant walked in. The letter claimed that while working for Seacrest, he hugged her in his underwear more than 10 times.
In 2008, according to the November letter, while walking to the set of “E! News,” Seacrest slid his hand under Hardy’s crotch. In an interview, Hardy said that he slid his hand in from behind, cupped her crotch, then quickly pulled it away again. Seacrest, according to the letter, then asked her “Oh my god, are you going to sue me?” to which Hardy responded, “not if I stay employed.”
The full piece can be read at Variety. It is very detailed — often upsettingly so — and Seacrest’s team deny all allegations.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Seacrest is worth around $350m. He currently works as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on Live with Kelly and Ryan. Today’s episode of the show did not mention the allegations or Variety piece. He’s also an executive producer on E!’s flagship reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, as well as a number of other shows.
Reading this story, I was reminded heavily of a Kathy Griffin story she included in her stand-up. During the American Music Awards, the pair were handing out an award and he, without her consent, ripped off her shirt.
(Header photograph from Getty Images)