Ryan Seacrest denies sexual misconduct allegations; E! News, ABC stand by the host
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 43-year-old star responded to the allegations in a new 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," said Seacrest.
Seacrest also claimed that Hardy repeatedly "offered to withdraw her claims" if he paid her millions of dollars which he refused to do.
"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.
An unverified source close to two of Seacrest's upcoming programs, New York-based Live and music reality show Idol, has claimed that the host will be appearing as planned on both the shows (Live on 27 February and Idol the following week).
Although Seacrest does not work on the daily E! News telecast anymore, he will reportedly still be hosting the pre-show for the 2018 Academy Awards. The news was confirmed by an E! spokesperson who, when asked whether Seacrest will still serve as the host of the pre-show, responded via email saying "Of course he is," according to a Variety report. A spokerperson for ABC reportedly declined to comment on the story.
Hardy, who worked for Seacrest as a stylist from 2007 to 2013, also alleged that her ordeal ended in 2013 after she reported Seacrest's actions to human resources which terminated her employment at E! News.
In January, E! had issued a statement saying there was insufficient evidence to support the accusations against Seacrest.
(With inputs from PTI)
Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 12:42:16 IST