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Ryan Seacrest89th Annual Academy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 26 Feb 2017

 

Suzie Hardy, the former “E! News” stylist who has accused Ryan Seacrest of years of sexual harassment and abuse, is challenging the host’s attempt to discredit her allegations.

“I remained quiet for years out of fears that my story wouldn’t be believed and that I would be subject to scorn and ridicule for telling it,” Hardy told Variety Tuesday. “I was emboldened by the bravery of others to finally and confidentially tell my story to NBC. Ryan elected to take the story public with a false narrative that he was exonerated and the victim of some sort of money grab. He is not the victim, and I refuse to let him victimize me for telling the truth.”

In a story published Monday by Variety, Hardy accused Seacrest of multiple incidents of sexual harassment and assault. Hardy, who served as his personal stylist for “E! News” from 2007 to 2013, said that he subjected her to years of unwanted sexual aggression — grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear, groping her vagina, and slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later.

 

 

Variety asked to speak with Seacrest Monday prior to the story’s publication. His representatives did not make him available, instead offering a statement from his lawyer decrying “untrue allegations that were made against my client,” which Variety published in its entirety.

On Tuesday, Seacrest gave a statement to the Hollywood Reporter saying, “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.” He also accused Hardy of making a demand for $15 million, which Hardy and her attorney have told Variety is not true. Seacrest’s representatives provided no evidence to Varietythat such a monetary request was made.

Seacrest also claimed that “Variety didn’t speak with me” or ask for evidence obtained during the investigation of sexual misconduct allegations. Variety spent an hour on the phone prior to publication with Seacrest’s representatives (his publicist and his lawyer), who refused to provide any such evidence, citing legal restrictions.

E! announced Feb. 1 that an independent investigator hired by the cable channel to look into Hardy’s allegations found “insufficient evidence” of wrongdoing on Seacrest’s part. Hardy’s attorney provided details of Hardy’s allegations to E!, its corporate parent NBCUniversal, and Seacrest in a Nov. 10 letter asking E! to “come up with a plan to address the treatment of all women at the networks and to take responsibility for the wrongful treatment” of Hardy. Seacrest took the allegation public a week later, announcing in a statement that E! was investigating a misconduct complaint against him and calling her claims “reckless allegations.”

The full details of the allegations and the name of Seacrest’s accuser were not known until Variety published its story Monday, in which Hardy spoke publicly about her experiences working for Seacrest for the first time. Hardy told Variety that the E! investigator declined to interview four people she referred to him who could corroborate elements of her story. “The investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest’s side,” she said.

 

 

In a statement Monday, E! told Variety, “Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless.

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Ex-stylist of Ryan Seacrest endured sexual misconduct, former co-worker says

by ERIK ORTIZ

The ex-stylist of Ryan Seacrest who claims she endured years of unwanted sexual misconduct was put in physically inappropriate situations on multiple occasions, according to a former co-worker who said he witnessed the alleged harassment.

"She would go to tie his shoe and Ryan would shove her head toward his crotch," the former co-worker told Kate Snow by phone. The TV exclusive aired on "Today" Wednesday. "I saw that more than once," he added.

NBC News is withholding the man's name because he still works in Hollywood and fears retaliation.

 

tdy_news_snow_seacrest_180228_1920x1080.nbcnews-ux-1080-600.jpgPlay

 Ryan Seacrest denies allegations of sexual misconduct as witness speaks out 4:15

Suzie Hardy, a former stylist at the cable channel E!, had accused Seacrest, 43, of sexual misconduct last year but finally went public with her claims on Monday.

Seacrest, a longtime TV personality, is a co-host of ABC's daytime talk show "Live with Kelly & Ryan" and is set to host E!'s Oscars show on Sunday and "American Idol" when it returns to ABC next month.

A source close to Seacrest dismissed the former co-worker as a friend of Hardy’s and a disgruntled former E! employee, adding that there are other witnesses who dispute Hardy’s accounts.

Another source connected to Seacrest provided a video to NBC News as a rebuttal to the claim that Seacrest would shove Hardy’s face into his crotch. In it, Hardy is seen tying Seacrest's shoe and him laughing and responding, "She's actually tying my shoe."

The former co-worker said just before an Oscars red carpet special in 2008, Hardy had helped Seacrest get ready at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

He said at one point, the doors to the bedroom opened and Seacrest was holding Hardy in a bear hug from behind.

Image: Ryan Seacrest
 
Ryan Seacrest. Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images file

"She yelled get off of me," the former co-worker said. "She was trying to get away from him."

He added that "I could see an erect penis in his underwear."

Related: Ryan Seacrest’s ex-stylist details allegations of sexual misconduct

Hardy was visibly shaken, he said, and he urged her to go to human resources.

E! conducted an independent investigation into the allegations lodged by Hardy and said in a statement that it found "insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest."

Hardy’s lawyer in a letter last November also mentioned the alleged incident at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, but said it happened in 2009 and that Seacrest was on top of Hardy in the hotel room.

NBC News obtained a letter, first reported by Variety on Monday, sent by Hardy's attorney to E!, its corporate parent NBCUniversal and Seacrest. (NBCUniversal is also NBC News' parent company.)

Seacrest's attorney, Andrew Baum, described Hardy's allegations as "untrue" and said the stylist had sought $15 million. Hardy's attorney denied asking Seacrest, E!, or NBCUniversal for money.

Seacrest said in a statement in part, "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."

He added that he "worked extremely hard to achieve my success" and "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."

Seacrest's lawyer told NBC News that the former co-worker's claims are "lies."

"These claims are not new and were considered by the investigator hired by E!, who found no evidence of wrongdoing," the lawyer said.

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