In November 2017, television host/radio personality Ryan Seacrest received a letter from the attorney of his stylist at E!, Suzie Hardy, accusing him of years of sexual harassment. E!’s investigation into Seacrest’s behavior found “insufficient evidence” to support Hardy’s claims, according to a report from Deadline earlier this month. A few days later, Seacrest published a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter titled “What Happened After I Was Wrongly Accused of Harassment.” “To have my workplace conduct questioned was gut-wrenching,” he wrote.
On Monday, Variety reported it has obtained a copy of the November letter sent to Seacrest, and published an extensive report of Hardy’s experience working for the American Idol host from 2007 to 2013, based on multiple interviews with Hardy and her former co-workers. The article reveals multiple instances of sexual harassment and assault towards Hardy over the time she worked Seacrest, and reports that her employment ended in 2013 just a few weeks after she told HR about Seacrest’s escalating acts of aggression towards her.
When Hardy began working for Seacrest in 2007, Seacrest’s personal assistant told her that their boss was romantically interested in her. Hardy says that Seacrest once asked her to come over to his house at night to tie a necktie, and another time asked her to “take a nap” with him while she styled her boss for an 2007-08 New Year’s Eve special.
As Hardy dodged Seacrest’s requests, things became more physical. Hardy says Seacrest would hug her while he was only wearing underwear, and once, slapped her buttock so hard it left a welt. A co-worker of Hardy’s told Variety that he saw the hugging take place multiple times, and also witnessed Seacrest slapping her buttock. The same co-worker says he saw Seacrest “push Hardy’s head into his crotch while she was tying his shoes” several times.
Hardy claims that once, in 2008, while at work, Seacrest grabbed her crotch by sliding his hand in from behind, and then asked her if she was going to sue him. Another time, Seacrest was only wearing underwear and “grabbed Hardy, threw her onto the hotel-room bed, and climbed on top of her, rubbing his erection against her—stopping only when Hardy’s co-worker began yelling at him.”
In 2010, Hardy was dating an entertainment lawyer and Seacrest asked her if she’d slept with him yet. The rest of the incident is disturbing:
When Hardy responded by telling Seacrest not to ask her such questions, Seacrest allegedly reached down and tightly grabbed her vagina. She retreated in tears to a bathroom, where, she said, a production assistant approached her a few minutes later offering to walk her to human resources, but warning her that she would probably be fired if she reported Seacrest’s behavior. Hardy declined the offer.
In 2013, Hardy says that HR sought her out to inquire about her relationship with Seacrest. “I was in there for hours. I told them everything.” Shortly after, she was told her employment with E! News was ending.
At the time of writing, Seacrest will still host the E! red carpet coverage before the 2018 Oscar Awards this weekend.