Ryan Seacrest has been accused of sexual abuse and harassment by his former E! stylist Suzie Hardy.
Variety, who broke the story, says “Seacrest subjected Hardy to years of unwanted sexual aggression — grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear, groping her vagina, and at one point slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later.”
Hardy started working at E! as Seacrest’s personal stylist in 2007. As a single mother the gig was ideal because it was well paid and fit well with her daughter’s schedule. She left E! in 2013 after she reported Seacrest’s abuse to human resources.
While working for Seacrest he began to take a romantic interest in her. He would request her to come to unnecessary events, like style him for American Idol when he had a stylist on that set or go over his house in the middle of the night to tie a necktie.
Hardy claims that Seacrest frequently hugged her while only wearing his underwear and one time even asked her to “take a nap” with him before the 2007-08 New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special. In 2008 Seacrest cupped Hardy’s crotch while on the E! News set.
In 2009 Seacrest slapped Hardy’s butt so hard it left a welt. This was witnessed by a co-worker whose storyline matches Hardy’s. Hardy also took a photo of the welt on her behind, which was proved to be taken on the same date Hardy and her former co-worker say that Seacrest slapped her butt.
This same co-worker witnessed Seacrest push Hardy onto a bed, climb on top of her and rub his visible erection on her. He only stopped when the co-worker yelled at him. They were at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood getting ready for the Academy Awards.
In 2010, while dressing Seacrest for E! News, Seacrest started asking inappropriate questions about her new boyfriend. He asked her, “Have you f***ed him yet?” Hardy refused to answer, so Seacrest allegedly reached down and forcefully grabbed her vagina.
Before Variety‘s article, all we knew about the allegations were from a statement Seacrest released. He said that E! News was investigating him over misconduct from someone who worked with him nearly a decade ago and that the claims were “reckless allegations.”
The investigation lasted three months by an outside counsel hired by NBCUniversal, E! networks parent company. They found “insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest” and the investigation was over.
But now Hardy is claiming that the investigation wasn’t as thorough as NBCUniversal is claiming. “I felt like by the third interview, it was obvious the investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest’s side.” Hardy also said that she gave the investigator four witnesses that could corroborate her allegations and he never contacted or interviewed any of them.
Seacrest’s lawyer, Andrew Baum told Variety that these allegations are untrue and that Hardy threatened to make false claims against Seacrest “unless he paid her $15 million.” Baum provided no proof of the multi-million dollar threat and Hardy’s attorney denies the claims.
Hardy stayed at her styling job despite the alleged abuse and didn’t report Seacrest’s alleged behavior because of her concern of losing her job. “I didn’t have to worry anymore. I was going to get a regular paycheck every week,” Hardy said about her E! News styling job.
Before her steady job, her work was all freelance, which is hard when you’re a mom. “It was hard to raise a child and not know where your next check was going to come from, and if that gig was going to take me out of town for two weeks,” She told Variety. “It was a better deal all the way around, even if I was being abused. It’s sick to say, but it was true.”