AceShowbiz - After his accuser went public with her sexual harassment allegations, %cRyan Seacrest% once again vehemently denies the claims. In response to a Variety report, which details stylist Suzie Hardy's allegations leveled against him, the "American Idol" host released an official statement on Tuesday, February 27.
Seacrest stated in the lengthy 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," Seacrest continued. "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 accused 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."
The "Live with Kelly and Ryan" co-host also added that Variety didn't speak with him before publishing the article. "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," he claimed. "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."
The 43-year-old TV personality went on claiming that Hardy, who worked as his stylist from 2007-2013, was after money. "This person who has accused me of horrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused. I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don't take my opportunities for granted," he stated. "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."
Following Seacrest's claim that they didn't speak to the host prior to the publication, Variety Co-Editors in Chief Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein released their own statement which read, "Responding to a quote by Ryan Seacrest in a Hollywood Reporter story posted today, in which Seacrest claims that 'Variety didn't speak with me' or even ask for evidence obtained during the investigation of sexual misconduct allegations, we want to set the record straight... We spent one hour on the phone yesterday (2/26) with Seacrest attorney, Andrew Baum, and his publicist, Kelly Mullens Brown, speaking on background about the story that our reporter Dan Holloway was writing."
"We asked to speak to Seacrest directly and his reps declined to make him available," the statement continued. "Seacrest's reps claimed to have evidence discrediting the accuser, Suzie Hardy, but refused to provide that as well, citing legal restrictions."
In a November letter which Variety obtained, Hardy's attorney, Howard King of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP, stated that Seacrest once ground "his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear." In addition, it was said that Seacrest was "groping her vagina, and at one point slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later."
The letter, which was addressed to E!, its corporate parent NBCUniveral and Seacrest, also stated that Seacrest slid his hand under her crotch area while walking to set in 2008. The host allegedly told her, "Oh my god, are you going to sue me?" to which Hardy responded, "Not if I stay employed."
One month later at his Roosevelt Hotel suite for the Oscars, underwear-clad Seacrest was seen having an erection. Hardy claimed that he later threw her onto the bed while he climbed on top of her and began rubbing his erection on her.
She went on claiming that the sexual abuse ended in 2013 after she told human-resources executives about the situation. However, she was later fired from the network.
Seacrest previously denied the allegations, dubbing the claims "reckless allegations." E! announced that it would investigate the misconduct claims only to conclude it three months later due to "insufficient evidence."