Popular TV host Ryan Seacrest has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct from his former stylist, saying the woman tried to extort money from him.
The woman, Suzie Hardy, who had written a letter in November last year detailing her abuse, said in a new interview that Seacrest developed an attraction to her and would hug her while wearing only underwear, repeatedly grope her privates. On one particular occasion, he allegedly threw her on a bed and rubbed up against her.
Hardy, who worked for Seacrest as a stylist from 2007 to 2013, also said that her ordeal ended in 2013 after she reported about Seacrest’s actions to human resources, which terminated her employment at E! News.
The 43-year-old star responded to the allegations in a statement, saying he supports the MeToo and Time’s Up movements and applauds “all the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Sadly, last fall I became one of the accused, which I promptly revealed pro-actively to the network involved and to the public. And to be equally clear, those accusations were then investigated by an independent third-party over the course of a two-month process and involved dozens of interviews that included me, the accuser and countless others.
“Ultimately, my name was cleared.
I eagerly participated in the investigation in order to demonstrate my innocence because I know my truth, and I believe in due process,” Seacrest said.
Seacrest also claimed that Hardy repeatedly “offered to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused.”
“I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don’t take my opportunities for granted. 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 added.
In January, E! had issued a statement saying there was insufficient evidence to support the accusations against Seacrest. The network also said Seacrest will continue to host the Oscars red carpet pre-show event at the 2018 Academy Awards.