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Will celebrities avoid Ryan Seacrest on Oscar red carpet?


Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

E! said Ryan Seacrest will still be a host of their annual red carpet special Sunday despite detailed allegations by his former personal stylist Suzy Hardy of multiple sexual harassment charges.

Seacrest has steadfastly denied the charges, saying he was a victim of blackmail. A two-month E! investigation said there was "insufficient evidence" of wrongdoing on his part but Hardy gave Variety magazine this week very specific actions he took that she deemed "sexual aggression" such as grabbing her crotch and rubbing his body against hers while wearing just his underwear.

Page Six of the New York Post spoke to publicists who said they will direct clients to go to Seacrest's co host Giuliana Rancic or skip the network altogether on the red carpet.

One PR person told the Post that it would be stupid for any woman active in the #MeToo movement to talk to Seacrest right now.

Seacrest, who chose not to talk about the Variety story on his radio show Tuesday or on his ABC talk show "Live With Kelly and Ryan," released a lengthy statement Wednesday saying he didn'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."

Here's the entire statement:

"Much has been said about the #MeToo and Times Up movement(s) and the importance of providing women and men with the opportunity to share their stories of workplace misconduct, in an effort to change our culture and the systemic inequalities that exist. I absolutely support this cause unequivocally and applaud all the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories.

Sadly, last fall I became one of the accused, which I promptly revealed proactively to the network involved and to the public. And to be equally clear, those accusations were then investigated by an independent third-party over the course of a two-month process and involved dozens of interviews that included me, the accuser and countless others. Ultimately, my name was cleared. I eagerly participated in the investigation in order to demonstrate my innocence because I know my truth, and I believe in due process.

Yesterday, Variety published a salacious story that revealed the specific claims against me for the first time – even though an independent third-party investigator found insufficient evidence to support the claims. Much to my dismay, Variety didn’t speak with me or bother to speak with other credible witnesses or even ask for any of the evidence that was obtained during the investigation when offered, all of which clearly challenged the veracity of the claims made against me.

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.

Hardy quickly responded with this statement to Variety:

Ryan elected to take the story public with a false narrative that he was exonerated and the victim of some sort of money grab. He is not the victim, and I refuse to let him victimize me for telling the truth.


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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.