Suzie Hardy, a former personal stylist for American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, has accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment, claims that Seacrest made public and denied in November 2017 when Hardy’s lawyer first contacted him.
In an interview to Hollywood publication Variety, which gained access to Hardy’s letter detailing the harassment, she said Seacrest sexually harassed her for six years starting in 2007 when she became his personal stylist at E!News.
She said she endured the abuse for years as she is a single mother and wanted to provide for her daughter. When she finally told her colleagues about the harassment in 2013, the human resources executives of E! approached her, she said. Two weeks after she told them about Seacrest’s behaviour, her employment was terminated, Hardy said.
“I didn’t know how to deal with it,” she told Variety. “I really didn’t. I was battling finally being in a decent financial position to breathe and be a mom, that I didn’t have to be freaking out all the time, and then dealing with this infantile celebrity person who was testing me on every level and manipulating me and knew that I was in a vulnerable position.”
She added: “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.”
“To have my workplace conduct questioned was gut-wrenching,” Seacrest wrote in February, in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve always aimed to treat all of my colleagues with honesty, respect, kindness and compassion.” E! conducted an internal inquiry into Hardy’s accusations but said in January it did not find enough evidence to support her claims.
Seacrest, who is also co-host of ABC television’s daytime talk show Live with Kelly & Ryan and producer of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, has been denying the allegations since November. His lawyer Andrew Baum said on Monday that Variety’s decision to run Hardy’s story was upsetting, and claimed that Hardy had earlier asked for money to stay silent.
“They (Variety) were told the accuser threatened to make those false claims against him unless he paid her $15 million,” Baum said. However, Hardy’s attorney told Variety that neither he nor Hardy had asked Seacrest, E! or the cable channel’s parent body for any money.
Seacrest is the latest celebrity to be accused of sexual misconduct – several claims by women have rocked Hollywood since October 2017, when investigations revealed that film producer Harvey Weinstein had been sexually assaulting women for over three decades. Soon, several people from within and outside the film industry accused him and many other actors such as Dustin Hoffman, Brett Ratner and Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment, leading to the Me Too movement.