On Monday, Variety published allegations of sexual misconduct against Ryan Seacrest by his former stylist Suzie Hardy, who alleged that the American Idol host put her through years of harassment and abuse.
Hardy claimed that the 43-year-old sexually touched and groped her, at one point slapping her buttock so hard that a visible welt remained for hours.
Seacrest is denying the allegations, with his attorney issuing a statement to Us Weekly.
“On January 31st the network notified us that their independent third-party investigation had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support her claims, effectively, clearing my client’s name," the statement read. "It’s telling that after my client refused to pay her money, and the E! investigation resulted as it did, that she is now coming forward to share her debunked story to the press.”
Hardy originally made the claim last fall, and an investigation by E! determined in January that there was "insufficient" evidence to substantiate Hardy's allegations.
In a November letter from Hardy’s attorney and in conversations with Variety, Hardy, who was a single mother, said she endured the alleged abuse for fear of losing her job. She added that she began working as a stylist for E! News in 2007 and that her position ended in 2013 after she reported Seacrest’s behavior to human-resources executives.
A former E! coworker corroborated one of Hardy's stories in which she said that Seacrest once threw her onto a hotel bed and, clad in only his underwear, rubbed his erection on Hardy until the coworker yelled at him to stop.0comments
The statement from Seacrest's attorney continues, “It is upsetting to us that Variety is electing to run a ‘story’ about untrue allegations that were made against my client, after they were told that the accuser threatened to make those false claims against him unless he paid her $15 million. At that time, the claimant threatened to issue a demonstrably false press statement unless she was paid. Instead, my client proactively and publicly denied the claims and agreed to fully cooperate with E!’s investigation about the matter.”
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