Ryan Seacrest has responded on the newly-detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against him as one of his fellow ABC stars calls for him to step aside from his red carpet duties at Sunday's Academy Awards.
The host made his usual appearance on ABC's “Live with Kelly and Ryan” on Tuesday, but stayed silent on the shocking allegations of sexual misconduct by his former stylist, laid out in graphic detail in Variety on Monday. Instead, the star addressed the allegations later in the day by way of a public statement.
"Much has been said about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement(s) and the importance of providing women and men with the opportunity to share their stories of workplace misconduct, in an effort to change our culture and the systemic inequalities that exist. I absolutely support this cause unequivocally and applaud all the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories.
"Sadly, last fall I became one of the accused, which I promptly revealed proactively 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.
"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.
"This person who has accused me of horrible things tried to buy her silence by asking for money on multiple occasions — 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."Fox News reports ABC brass have stayed silent as its biggest star faces the worst crisis in his career. ABC’s “Good Morning America” did not mention the scandal, while it was heavily covered on rival network’s morning programs. The spotlight on Seacrest is unusually harsh, as next month the star will host the make-or-break reboot of “American Idol”.
Meanwhile, 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, according to Variety.
“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.”