Ryan Seacrest has broken his silence over sexual harassment allegations made against him, in an impassioned op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter.
Unprecedented Public Reckoning
In the letter, Seacrest explains how the allegations, made by a former wardrobe stylist who was working on E! News at the time, were first brought to his attention nearly ten years after they allegedly occurred.
He praised the women who only came forward with their stories at the beginning of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
"This arrived during an unprecedented public reckoning by women in our industry and beyond, courageously coming forward to share their stories, many of them heartbreaking. I was — and am — amazed at their bravery," Seacrest gushed.
The TV host went on to explain how difficult it was to be associated with other men who had done despicable things, but that he agreed to assist the investigation in any way he could.
"To have my workplace conduct questioned was gut-wrenching. I've always aimed to treat all of my colleagues with honesty, respect, kindness and compassion. Yet, I knew ... my name would likely soon appear on the lists of those suspected of despicable words and deeds," he said.
Part Of The Solution
Seacrest was subsequently found innocent by a third party, who confirmed to E! that there wasn't enough evidence to support the woman's claims against him.
Although Seacrest made a case for the presumption of innocence, he pledged his support for the sea change in the industry. The American Idol host is now pledging his support to anybody who comes forward with similar claims of harassment or assault.
"I absolutely want to be part of the change, the progress, that is coming. My job is to listen. I also will ask questions and try to help voices be heard. My platforms ... can be powerful conduits for change," Seacrest promised.
Seacrest denied the allegations almost immediately, in a statement released at the time. He apologized for any misunderstanding but he made an outright refusal of any wrongdoing or inappropriate behavior on his part. The THR op-ed is the first time he's spoken out about this issue.
It comes at an interesting time, following Uma Thurman's horrifying revelation about the treatment she received at the hands of Quentin Tarantino. Thurman's story ties in with the Harvey Weinstein accusations that kickstarted the current reckoning.