Kelly Ripa Defends Ryan Seacrest's Character And Reputation During 'Live With Kelly And Ryan'
Ryan Seacrest may be fighting his reputation after being accused of sexual assault and harassment by a former employee, but one person is defending him and his work ethic.
Seacrest's on-air co-anchor, Kelly Ripa, spoke highly of her male counterpart during a live taping of their show, Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Ripa To The Rescue
During their March 1 episode, the co-hosts addressed Seacrest's upcoming red carpert coverage for the Oscars on March 4. Ripa took the moment to express how she was "proud" of Seacrest and she couldn't wait to see him on the red carpet.
“And I just want you to know, you are a privilege to work with and I adore you. I know what a professional, great person you are, and I feel very, very blessed to work with you each and every day," Ripa stated.
Ripa's comments follow reports stating that certain celebrities plan to avoid him on the red carpet.
The two have been on the popular syndicated morning talk show since September 2017. Prior to Seacrest, Ripa's former co-hosts were Michael Strahan and Regis Philbin.
Seacrest was accused by former stylist Suzie Hardy of sexually harassing her for over six years. Hardy alleged that Seacrest grabbed her crotch on multiple occasions.
Seacrest responded to the allegations by claiming that Hardy was trying to "extort" him for millions of dollars.
"This person who has accused me of horrible things tried to buy her silence by asking for money on multiple occasions -- I refused. 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," Seacrest said in a statement.
In November 2017, reports of Seacrest being accused of sexual assault began to surface and were fully investigated by the E! network. The accusations were found to have "insufficient" evidence.
Seacrest isn't the first media personality to be accused of sexual misconduct. In 2017, NBC anchorman Matt Lauer and CBS anchorman Charlie Rose were both accused of sexually assaulting female employees. Both men were terminated from their positions and subsequently replaced.