NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
A personal stylist has accused Ryan Seacrest of sexually harassing her for years and is now publicly detailing her allegations, including that he grabbed her crotch multiple times.
On Monday, stylist Suzie Hardy told Variety that Seacrest started sexually harassing her soon after she started a job as his personal stylist at E! News in 2006.
Hardy said she endured the unwanted sexually aggressive touching and groping for fear of losing her job. She reported the alleged workplace abuse to her company’s human resources department in 2013 and says two weeks later, she was informed that E! News would end her employment a week after the upcoming Oscars.
E! announced in January that its investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Seacrest had concluded with “insufficient” evidence of wrongdoing.
“The investigation, conducted by outside counsel, found insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest and therefore could not be substantiated,” an E! spokesperson said in a statement.
Just weeks after the investigation, Variety obtained a Nov. 10 letter from Hardy’s lawyers — Howard King of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP — addressed to E!
In the letter, Hardy claims that Seacrest hugged her while wearing only underwear on more than 10 occasions. She also alleges that at one point, Seacrest was sitting in a director’s chair in the dressing room in his underwear and said to her, “I just don’t think you’re attracted to me,” which she replied, “I’m attracted to my paycheque.”
A year after being hired as his E! stylist, she claims that while walking to set, Seacrest slid his hand under her crotch area. She alleges that Seacrest then said “Oh my God, are you going to sue me?”
“Not if I stay employed,” she replied.
One of Hardy’s former co-workers who worked at E! News told Variety he witnessed Seacrest sexually assault Hardy on two separate occasions in 2009.
In the first incident, both Hardy and the co-worker claim that Seacrest slapped her buttocks so hard a welt appeared. She allegedly took a photo of it and gave it to E! and Variety.
One month later, Hardy and her co-worker were in Seacrest’s hotel suite in Hollywood, where she helped him dress for the Oscars. According to the former colleague and Hardy, Seacrest was only wearing his underwear and had a visible erection. They alleged that Seacrest threw Hardy onto the bed, where he climbed on top of her and rubbed his erection on her.
Seacrest was the first to make the sexual misconduct accusations public when he issued a denial last November.
“Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her. If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result,” Seacrest said in the statement.
Hardy told Variety that she was speaking out for the first time about the allegations because she felt “total exasperation” after her complaint was dismissed.
“It was obvious the investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest’s side,” she claimed. She added that the investigator never contacted the four witnesses who she claimed would corroborate her story.
Adam Baum, Seacrest’s lawyer, told People in a statement that “it is upsetting” that Variety chose to run Hardy’s “untrue allegations.”
“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,” Baum said.
Baum continued: “Instead, my client proactively and publicly denied the claims and agreed to fully cooperate with E!’s investigation about the matter.”
An E! spokesperson told Variety that questioning the legitimacy of its investigation is “completely baseless.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.