On Monday, Ryan Seacrest’s longtime stylist, Suzie Hardy, detailed years of sexual harassment while working for him in a new Variety story. Although Hardy’s attorney sent a letter to TV personality and his employer, E! News, back in November, making them aware of Hardy’s accusations, this week was the first time Hardy shared them publicly. On Wednesday, Seacrest responded, calling Variety’s story “salacious” and insisting that his name was cleared by a third-party investigation.
What’s more, Seacrest claims that Variety did not reach out to him when reporting its story (statement via Billboard):
“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.”
Seacrest also mentions that Hardy repeatedly asked him for money “to buy her silence”—a claim that, according to Variety, Hardy’s lawyers deny and that Seacrest’s team has not provided any evidence to prove actually happened (via Variety):
Hardy’s attorney told Variety that neither he nor Hardy has asked Seacrest, E!, or the cable channel’s corporate parents for any money. Seacrest’s representatives provided no evidence that a monetary request was made.
In his statement, Seacrest mentions the third-party investigation that allegedly cleared his name—but Hardy, speaking to Variety, stated that said investigation did not reach out to multiple witnesses whose names she gave him and simply was not interested in thoroughly looking into her story:
“Total exasperation was my definite feeling when I heard about it,” Hardy, who was interviewed three times by the independent investigator, told Variety. “I felt like by the third interview, it was obvious the investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest’s side.” Hardy claimed that the investigator never contacted four witnesses she had referred him to who could corroborate elements of her story.
Seacrest insists—both in Wednesday’s statement and a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter he wrote earlier this month about what happens when you’re wrongly accused of sexual harassment—that he is a supporter of the #MeToo movement. “I absolutely support this cause unequivocally and applaud all the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories,” he writes. But he also insists that Hardy is wrong about him and their working relationship: “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.”
We will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.