American radio and television personality Ryan Seacrest has commented on the new allegations of sexual misconduct against him after one of his ABC stars asked him to step down from his duties at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Seacrest made an appearance on his usual show on ABC but was mum about the allegations lodged by his former stylist. The star chose to address the issue later in the day in the form of a public statement.
"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,” he said in his statement.
Seacrest denied the allegations and claimed that his former stylist, Suzie Hardy had accused him of ‘horrible things’ earlier in an attempt to extort money from him in return for her silence.
Seacrest went on to speak about his support for #MeToo and Time’s Up movements highlighting that he ‘applauds’ those who come forward.
In her article on Variety, Hardy claimed that Seacrest groped her vagina, pushed himself up against her body and slapped her bottom hard enough to leave marks for hours. "As proud as I am and as strong as a woman as I am, as smart as I am and as much work as I've done with therapists, it really affected me," she had said.
Hardy had also said that she complained about the incident to human resources in 2013 but she was fired following the allegations.