American Idol host Ryan Seacrest is facing allegations of sexual harassment by former stylist Suzie Hardy. In an interview with Variety, Hardy accused that the TV presenter made sexual advances with her while she was working at E! News.
For the first time, the single mother of a preschool daughter said that the 43-year-old host had an attraction with her during the tenure of her job from 2007 to 2013.
She claims the sexual aggression ranged from groping her vagina while Seacrest was only wearing underwear, slapping her, and throwing her on the bed before rubbing her against his erection.
"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," Hardy said, adding that she did not know what she would do at the time.
In 2013, Hardy told her colleagues about Seacrest behavior. Immediately after, the human resources department approached her and told her that the company was going to terminate her contract two weeks later.
She sought therapy after leaving the network and only decided to come out to the light after similar complaints in the entertainment business came about in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Live with Kelly and Ryan host vehemently denies the allegation, adding that Hardy's statements are "reckless." In a column titled What Happened After I Was Wrongly Accused of Harassment, the host called the accusation "gut-wrenching."
"I've always aimed to treat all of my colleagues with honesty, respect, kindness and compassion," Seacrest wrote.
Results of the investigation initiated by E! concluded that Hardy's case is found to have "insufficient" evidence. The complainant, on the one hand, denied the comprehensiveness and thoroughness of the said inquiry.
Hardy added that the network's investigators did not communicate with four key persons who could serve as witnesses to her story. Seacrest's team called Hardy's allegations false and "upsetting," adding that she is suing for $15 million of damages.
Hardy's attorney denied there was a demand for money and that no monetary request is available to prove Seacrest's claim.
On November 12, 2017, thousands have flocked the streets of Hollywood in protest of abuses made against them by members of the entertainment industry.
The event called #MeTooMarch is inspired by a movement of the same name in social media that fights against sexual assault and harassment, which the participants said have become an American way of life.