Ryan Seacrest’s sexual harassment situation has blown up ahead of the Oscars

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Last fall, in the heat of the #MeToo/Sex-Predatorgate 2017 discussion, it came out that a woman had accused Ryan Seacrest of harassment at E! News. Seacrest made a public statement quickly, denying the accusation, and E! News launched an internal investigation. E! recently released a quick statement about the findings of their investigation, which was basically “the woman is lying, Seacrest is innocent.” On Monday, Variety published a lengthy article about the situation, with an interview with the victim, Suzie Hardy. You can read the full Variety piece here – Hardy says Seacrest subjected her to “years of unwanted sexual aggression,” everything from grinding his erection against her to groping her privates to slapping her bottom with such force that he left a welt. Hardy calls out E! For doing the most to “whitewash” the investigation in Seacrest’s favor. On Tuesday, Seacrest released a statement to the media:

“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 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. 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.”

[From THR]

Seacrest and his lawyers have made repeated mention of Hardy’s seeming extortion threat for “millions of dollars.” Hardy and her lawyers addressed that in Variety too, and Variety wrote: “Hardy’s attorney told Variety that neither he nor Hardy has asked Seacrest, E!, or the cable channel’s corporate parents for any money. Seacrest’s representatives provided no evidence that a monetary request was made.” Hardy released a new statement to Variety after Seacrest made his statement. She said:

“I remained quiet for years out of fears that my story wouldn’t be believed and that I would be subject to scorn and ridicule for telling it,” Hardy told Variety Tuesday. “I was emboldened by the bravery of others to finally and confidentially tell my story to NBC. 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.”

[From Variety]

After reading the lengthy Variety story where Hardy detailed the many incidents of sexual harassment and abuse, I 100% believe her. Seacrest wasn’t a snarling monster – he was a powerful boss who felt entitled to an employee’s body. He was angry that she repeatedly refused his advances. He probably felt, at various times, like he was “pursuing” her. And then it became really ugly. She is brave to come out.

And all of this is happening right before Oscar weekend, where Seacrest is demanding to be front-and-center on E!’s Red Carpet show. Page Six claims that many publicists are quietly telling clients not to do interviews with Seacrest at the Oscars:

Regardless, top Hollywood publicists tell Page Six that they will steer many of their stars away from Seacrest on the Oscar red carpet. Given the white-hot emotions and politics surrounding Hollywood abuse — and the seriousness of the allegations made against Seacrest — the flacks said they would instead direct their clients to Seacrest’s co-host, Giuliana Rancic, or skip E! altogether.

“Usually Ryan is the one you want . . . but there are so many outlets on that carpet, why risk it? There’s plenty of other places for clients to get the exposure,” one PR powerhouse told us.

Another PR source said it would depend on the client, but “if it was a [client who had been involved in the #MeToo movement], I would never put them in that position. I don’t think any smart person would.”

[From Page Six]

I doubt he’ll step aside, but you never know. I think there’s a better possibility that he’ll stay on the show and only interview men. Which is basically what he does anyway. This awards season, E! has really shown their ass, haven’t they? From Catt Sadler to their mishandling of #MeToo, to this mess. E! was completely unprepared for all of it.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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91 Responses to “Ryan Seacrest’s sexual harassment situation has blown up ahead of the Oscars”

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  1. Ninks says:

    When that story first broke last year, I genuinely believed that he had made up the allegation himself just to make it look like he’s attracted to women. I’m actually surprised there’s a real woman involved. I’m not surprised that he would behave like an entitled prick.

    • Nancy says:

      Everything you said. I wasn’t surprised about the allegations, just the gender.

    • lisa says:

      or is he openly harassing women to look like he likes them? i believe him being an entitled smug jerk who harasses people. just also shocked it’s not a male employee

    • whatWHAT? says:

      ok, glad I’m not the only one! the most shocking thing about this is that he harassed a WOMAN…but I’m honestly not surprised that he’s a harasser.

      he always struck me as so calculated and cold…sociopathic even.

    • manda says:

      100%

      I’ve always thought he was gay. Remember when he was dating teri hatcher, and that horribly awkward looking kiss? Ugh, so not real looking

    • Morning Coffee says:

      Ninks, I’m glad I was not the only one to think that!

    • Tallia says:

      This^^

    • Katherine says:

      Lol I know but I hate how the tide has seemingly turned very recently and the air seems to become gradually chillier when it comes to how ready the power players are to embrace accusations against their friends, partners and colleagues….

    • Veronica says:

      Trust me, men do not have to be straight to sexually harass women. You’d be amazed how many gay men think they’re entitled to female bodies despite a lack of attraction to them. It’s very revealing in terms of how much of it is tied to entitlement, power, and domination.

      Signed,
      an LGBT woman

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        True. Also, this may be because I’ve never paid attention to Ryan Seacrest’s personal life despite seeing him on different TV programs over the years, but are we sure he’s attracted to men?

      • Tanya says:

        Yep, and they harbor misogyny as well. Being gay does not give them a pass.

        Signed,
        A fellow LGBT woman

      • LaBlah says:

        This. I had a gay friend who I had a massive falling out with because I saw they way he treated women who worked for him and occasionally socially as well. He always used to shield himself with fact he was gay. That kind of abuse of power isn’t about sexual attraction but entitlement and the thrill of domination, being gay didn’t mean he wasn’t doing exactly that.

    • minx says:

      Yes, I think he’s gay and did this to look straight.

      • Kitten says:

        Come on, guys. You honestly think that a gay man working in the entertainment industry (whoa what an anomaly!) would risk his entire career and reputation just because he’s ashamed of his sexuality? Again, it’s not like he’s a football player or a construction worker or some field that is traditionally associated with hyper masculinity–it’s freaking HOLLYWOOD where gay men are a dime a dozen.

        And as Veronica pointed out, even if he was gay that does not mean that he is somehow incapable of harassing women. Remember: it’s not a bout sex, it’s about entitlement and power.

        But Occam’s Razor, people. Most likely he’s just a straight man of small stature and impeccably groomed eyebrows. They DO exist, you know.

      • Nancy says:

        Kitten, as sad as it is, I do believe there are some out there that still hide their sexuality. I’m almost certain the gorgeous, sexy news commentator on ABC at 6:30 pm is gay, I won’t say his name….lol, but he has never outed himself. Seacrest has a reputation of the nice guy, the successful bachelor. He might be afraid middle America wouldn’t accept him……ala Rosie O’Donnell in her day fawning over Tom Cruise, until she realized she had to be herself. As for the harassment of women, that’s on him. When you reach the level of power he has, you’re correct, it’s entitlement. It will be interesting to see what happens. Sure this was timed to coincide with the Oscars on Sunday. I’m getting the sads.

      • RBC says:

        There was a rumour that he will not come out as gay until after his parents have passed. Of course this does not give him any excuse to harass this woman. But when it comes to being gay and coming out, not every family is accepting. He might have his reasons.

      • Nancy says:

        RBC, I know he is close to his parents and sister. As I stated above, some people still find the need to hide their sexuality. So wrong. If true, his life has been a lie and I can’t imagine a mother that would want that for their child, no matter what the age. Simon Cowell teased him unmercifully and I’m almost certain he knew….Ryan himself made statements when Adam Lambert was on that were (at least in my mind) wink wink nudge nudge, I get it. If he is guilty, so be it. The more I read, the worse I feel and hope the harassment allegations aren’t true. He does have his pal Kelly, a friend to a lot of gay men, in his corner. He said nothing this morning on the show….but then again I had the tv muted…..lol. The life of a working mother at home!

      • lisa says:

        i can see this, back on OG idol, he and simon used to have this weird banter that made me feel like he was super closeted

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I find it odd that people don’t think he could be bi- or pan-, they are set that he is gay full-stop. There are more than 2 options (gay/straight)!

      • Dana Marie says:

        Perhaps he is bi.

  2. Hh says:

    Ryan Seacrest is a far too powerful figure at E! Network for me to even believe that those investigations were conducted fairly. Also, the notion that people will believe allegations of extortion without any proof, but not sexual harassment enrages me. People have no problem believing lies about women, but want all the evidence and a court case for a man.

    • Leeloo says:

      Exactly. I thought Seacrest was E! essentially, so Ryan Seacrest investigated Ryan Seacrest and found that he, Ryan Seacrest, did nothing wrong. E! was never going to find anything against the guy that brings in the money. As for the gay question/assumption, does some jacka$$ drunk on power really discriminate, maybe his preference is just dominating people with less power.

    • NameChange says:

      Yup. I knew E would never allow its cash cow to be found guilty of any transgression.

    • LaBlah says:

      Same old same old. The bar to believe men is low, the bar to disbelieve women is even lower.

  3. wheneight says:

    Wait, he’s not gay?

    • Lilith says:

      I think he is coz my gaydar just exploded.

    • HadleyB says:

      It doesn’t matter. I have worked with and been harassed by gay men – sometimes by some they feel they can do and say whatever they want because they are gay and its no harm because they are not sexually connected to women? I don’t know.

      I have been fondled, slapped, touched and had things said about my body and face straight to my face by gay men at work who feel they are in the right to say such things to me. Telling me how to dress, to lose weight, what to do with my hair and makeup and what plastic surgery to get.

      This was the in the fashion industry while I was in in that field for a 4 years and never elsewhere in my career.

      At one point I did tell one co worker to stop talking about my body and breasts and he was shocked as all the other women at worked just loved it and found him funny and knew it was ” no harm” .. but I dont care if its a man or a woman gay or straight. You can’t talk about my body and touch me all the time at work!
      So yes, even if he is gay I can believe he rubbed up and harassed a woman.

  4. CairinaCat says:

    I guess this means he’s not gay?
    Although I have known a number of gay men who hated women, and used sexuality as a weapon in the work place
    Specifically in the custom picture framing world at the gallery level.

    • Lady D says:

      Did not know that. Sorry you have to go through demeaning harassment to earn a living, CarinaCat. Another avenue open to men to assault women. Every where you turn there’s another one.

    • c8c8c8c8 says:

      I was most certainly sexually harassed by a gay man. Do not know his motives/issues, but he seemed to think because he was gay, that he could do or say anything to me. It was absolutely awful.

  5. RBC says:

    Why does this man need someone to tie his shoes?

  6. Lucy2 says:

    I either missed or forgot the earlier accusations, but I believe her. In addition to her own account, the variety article has comments from a number of witnesses. It’s disgusting that she was fired when she brought this to their attention. E needs to fix itself.
    It’s quite possible he is not 100% straight and still harassed this woman.

  7. Abby says:

    WOWsers. This kind of shocks me. I actually really thought he was gay.

    Oscars red carpet should be interesting. I wouldn’t talk to him either.

  8. Mia4s says:

    “I think there’s a better possibility that he’ll stay on the show and only interview men.”

    Maybe. But if I was a publicist to a male star I would keep them faaaaaaar away from Seacrest too. Bad optics!

    • RBC says:

      I would not be surprised if Seacrest comes down with the “ flu” before this weekend. That way he has an excuse to avoid being asked any questions on the red carpet

  9. Beer&Crumpets says:

    This clinches it: I am horrible at judging the character of a person who has a body of work with which I am familiar but whom I have never met in person. Seacrest has always seemed so…. like… bland and inoffensive to me. He’s like the human version of a turkey and mayo sandwich on white bread. Or so I thought. I believe that lady. I’m just bad at gauging.

    Shit, I liked Kevin Spacey, ffs. GROSS.

    • Franklymydear... says:

      I’m with you! Kevin Spacey was my MAN and now it’s too disgusting to contemplate. Makes me sick. Same with Seacrest…seems so harmless and boring. Ugh.

  10. Nicole says:

    I mean it’s E! Home for the Kardashians. Why we ever think they have one clue about not being awful.

    • Nancy says:

      It was Seacrest that put them on the air asap after he and PMK leaked the tape. How insulting to Dick Clark to compare him to this POS. He tried to make Seacrest Out happen in the beginning of Idol, now he has his wish, he is out.

    • Harryg says:

      I will never ever forgive him for doing that. It could be compared to dumping nuclear waste in everybody’s front yard, that’s how awful that appalling family is.

  11. lisa says:

    it would be amazing if someone made a beeline for seacrest and asked him about the allegations

    and isnt he gonna be on the unwanted idol reboot?

    • Jenns says:

      I wish someone would do that. I cannot stand that smug little jerk. He should’ve been off the red carpet once he starting promoting his own suit line. The only time Ryan was interesting is when Sasha Baron Cohen dumped those ashes all over him.

      Also, remember “Seacrest OUT!”. That’s when America should’ve canceled him.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      The questions are more likely to be directed at every woman who’s ever worked with him.

  12. Angelo says:

    Remember early in his career when he stripped Kathy Griffin to her bra at some awards show? Not surprised about this at all.

  13. marianne says:

    I wonder if we’ll get more Debra Messing’s and have people stop by to call them out on their crap.

  14. Igotbiglipsandicannotlie says:

    I think he will issue a statement kind of like Kevin Spacey did for sympathy. But also, coming out as a defense saying he’s gay so there’s no way he would sexually harass a woman. Which could be true. Who knows. I’m curious to see how this whole thing plays out.

  15. Zeddy says:

    I know I’ll be crucified for this, but this is the one and only case where I do not believe the woman. Seacrest…. does not swing that way… nor do I believe the aggressive gay narrative.

    • Chaine says:

      Not crucifying you, but did you read the linked article with all of her allegations? They seemed very credible to me, and there are witnesses. Sometimes sexual harassment or assault is not related to sexual urges or acting out, it is purely about dominating another person, making oneself feel good by demeaning and humiliating someone else. Look at how often we hear about high school and college male sports team members sodomizing other team members with foreign objects.

    • CairinaCat says:

      You don’t believe a gay guy can sexually harrass a woman??
      Because they sure as hell can.
      I worked a number of years in customer picture framing in gallery’s and two different gay guys at different gallery’s were sexually abusive to me.
      Grabbing my breasts, my crotch, grinding against me. Laughing because hey they were gay so they could get away with stuff like that.

      Gay has nothing to do with a guy being a narcissistic, sociopathic abusive asshole in the work place. It’s all about power, not attraction or sex

    • Nancy says:

      You have a right to believe how you feel Zeddy. We all do. I don’t care about his sexual orientation, but do believe he thought he was invincible. The truth generally prevails, so we will see.

    • Merritt says:

      Gay men harass women. Issac Mizrahi is on video groping Scarlett Johansson’s breasts on the red carpet.

  16. magnoliarose says:

    This is one of the stranger harassment stories because he is gay. It is kind of accepted that he had beards so he could stay firmly in the closet. Not convincingly but he gave it a try.
    He would have to be a misogynist who did it not out of sexual gratification but to be a bully and make her feel worthless.

    I have a very close gay male friend who years ago when we first met was obsessed with my breasts and always touching them and commenting on them, but it wasn’t sexual. He wasn’t mean even. He just was fascinated with my breasts but wanted nothing at all to do with the lady bits. He had a crush on me but not to sleep with me but as a companion. He is married now, but he still calls me wife and is friends with my husband. He comments on my looks all the time, not mean but jokey flirty. It is hard to articulate. For some reason, it never bothered me, but maybe by that point, I was used to being poked and adjusted and handled.

    So it is possible he did those things as some kind of psychological game and a twisted, confused sense of his sexuality. I just have never met a malicious gay male sexual harasser, so I can only guess. Gay men can be misogynists but to physically assault is new to me.

    • Darla says:

      Is it possible he’s bi?

      • magnoliarose says:

        I guess he could be. It was the erection that threw me for a loop. He’s not really secretive about it, I don’t think he is ashamed but the gay men who work in those circles I know swear it. I usually take their word for it. They aren’t the type to just say that just because. So I assumed it was just like Oh Ryan Seacrest is gay and everyone knows it. But I guess not. I don’t pay much attention to him.
        I am so used to talking about it like it is just another fact about someone and being frank and open I forget that it is still an issue for others. Idk.
        So anything is possible. *shrug*
        I think he is creepy though.

  17. MellyMel says:

    Add me to the list of people who thought he was gay. I guess it doesn’t matter really, but still I’m a little shocked that the victim is a woman. I believe her and hopefully he gets fired from all his many jobs, but I’m not holding my breath. I kind of want him to do the Oscar red carpet though…just to see if some of these women involved in #MeToo or #TimesUp call him out on live t.v.

  18. JennyJazzhands says:

    I’ve been harassed over seven years by a former boss who thought that he was just “courting” me. It was not fun. The gossip around the office, somehow, made me the aggressor trying to “come up”. It’s awful. I feel for this lady.

  19. LadyT says:

    The man is gay and a bitter, angry trapped in-the-closet gay to boot. He is nonetheless capable of a hard-on and punishing a woman for not wanting him and the false image he so desires. It’s about power and punishment and proving, not sexual desire at all.

  20. Jordan says:

    hopefully he’ll fall and so will the Klan he created.

  21. Darla says:

    I thought at the time Ripa made a mistake not choosing Fred Savage as her perm cohost. Out of the cohosts she had doing tryouts I mean. Not to say he’s the best pick in the world, but out of the ones she had, I liked him. I do not like Seacrest and never have. But I think Ripa has her own issues and I am not convinced she’s a very nice person so this probably makes sense.

    • Jayna says:

      I don’t watch the show anymore, but I don’t get Ryan. It should have been Jerry O’Connell. He just seemed a better fit than Ryan.

    • PunkyMomma says:

      Yes — Jerry O’Connell was terrific with Ripa. I still can’t watch the shrill and awkward of Ripa and Seacrest in the morning. I give him credit that he can sit there and appear fascinated while she regurgitates bon mots about hubby Mark Consuelos.

      Seacrest absolutely pings my gaydar — heavily closeted, and totally believable as a sexual harasser. Harassment is a power move; doesn’t have to be gender specific.

      • Darla says:

        I guess I have a soft spot for Savage due to my love of the Wonder Years back in the day. But yeah, O’Connell too was a better choice than Seacrest.

        I have to say I am always learning. I never really considered the dynamics of some gay men sexually harassing women as a power play. The comments here have opened my eyes.

      • Nancy says:

        I like Fred Savage too. He would have been a better fit. Cannot stand O’Connell, never got his appeal. Kelly is always most comfortable with gays. She is like Ina Garten in that respect.

  22. gatorbait says:

    This story in particular has brought out a new group of disgusting people I see. The whole “he’s gay and therefor cannot have assaulted a woman” gang. A gay man most certainly can assault a woman. Also, he could just be bisexual or, and hold on tight cause I’m gonna blow your mind, he’s not gay at all. Since none of us here has slept with the man, and he’s never said he was, I’d say there is no definitive proof that he is gay or straight.

    • Chaine says:

      And even if you had slept with him, it would not prove he was not gay (I always wondered my boyfriend never introduced me to his “roommate”) #truth

  23. Nancypants says:

    Firstly, it doesn’t matter whether he is gay or not.
    Rape and sexual assault isn’t really about sex; it’s about power, intimidation, anger and abuse.

    Was it Daily Mail or where that I heard the woman offered to shuuush if he paid her a few million dollars and he refused? He basically said, “Take me to court.”

    I know two minor celebs in Denver who are friends of his and they don’t believe he would ever act that way but who knows?

    I won’t hang my hat on either one of them but the innocent shout to the rafters.

    • me says:

      Yes, yesterday on E News they said the woman said she would drop all allegations if he paid her millions. He reportedly refused. If a man really did those horrible things to you and you wanted to protect other women from future abuse by him, would any amount of money make it OK to hush up and walk away?

      • Lady D says:

        It was him and his lawyers spreading that ‘story,’ wsn’t it?

      • me says:

        @ Lady D

        Apparently there was some sort of investigation in to the matter and there is some sort of proof she asked for money.

      • LadyT says:

        Until Ryan’s lawyer produces proof, written or audio, that she asked for millions I’ll consider it hogwash. He can “say” anything. Let’s see the proof of the claim.

      • BackstageBitchy says:

        IF this woman or her lawyers asked for money, THIS would be the moment for Seacrest’s team to offer up any proof of that claim.
        If they don’t have anything to show in regards to their claim that she tried to extort him, then they have backed themselves into a corner- the “investigation” was overseen by E!, who have everything to lose if Ryan falls. According to the Variety article, the investigators interviewed her at length, listened to what she had to say, and then simply terminated her. Disgusting.
        So the ONLY a thing Ryan’s team has going for it is 1) a claim that she asked for money which they have not backed up with a single email or file or record of any kind and 2) a general assumption that Ryan is a closeted gay man and therefore wouldn’t harass a woman. Which puts them in the position of having to out him, whIch tHey wont do, and which relies on a provably wrong assumption, that a gay man would not/ could not harass a woman.
        It looks very bad for Ryan and worse for E!. The accuser has witnesses willing to speak up for her who the investigators just declined to interview.
        Ryan’s sexuality is almost irrelevant- he comes across as a tightly wound, domineering, controlling abusive asshole, who enjoyed making this woman uncomfortable and who enjoyed making demaeaninf demands.
        But E! is going to fight dirty- do they have ANY shows that Ryan is not involved with?
        I’d avoid him like the plague his is on the red carpet if I were a celeb, male or female…

  24. Emmet says:

    Just wanted to make a statement about E! and Bravo. As a woman have to say why I feel am I being abused twice by these networks. Blatant misogyny (the Housewives et al) on air and then behind the scenes, females not at top positions in multitudes and not top money earners.

    On top of this, these network are geared solely toward women and we are made participants on our own degradation.

    #timesup indeed

  25. Tess says:

    I’m just waiting until he comes out as a defense. “I didn’t do it cuz I’m gay!”

  26. Michelle says:

    I think he needs to be taken off the red carpet for the Oscars this Sunday and perhaps American Idol too. Look at all the other men that have been accused of things and whether or not they deny it, they have been fired or let go from their TV shows. Is there a particular number of accusers that have to come forward in order for someone to be taken off a TV show? How is he any more special than any of the rest just because he is denying it?

  27. Pandy says:

    Seacrest out!

  28. BJ says:

    I don’t believe Ryan is gay.I have yet to hear one account of Ryan being with a man, propositioning a man,etc on gay gossip sites.Even before the Kevin Spacey story broke I had read dozens of accounts of him with men,cruising, groping,etc.
    I believe Ryan’s accuser.

  29. LittlefishMom says:

    My gut reaction to this is this woman is lying I don’t know why. Still thing he’s gay too. But that’s not my reason. I think she wants money, period.

  30. Nicole Savannah, GA says:

    And this is why ‘chain of command’ bullshit doesn’t ever work.

  31. Anare says:

    Suzie Hardy has witnesses to some of the events she described. She has people with whom she confided at the time events happened. Her story rings true. Ryan Seacrest has responded in typical bully fashion, attack the victim. Where is his evidence that these events didn’t happen or that the victim is an extortionist? Where are his witnesses? Show us the receipts Ryan. I’m so disgusted with E! for protecting this pig. I will not watch any of their Oscar coverage and I deleted their app from my phone. 😒

  32. Oopygoopy says:

    E and Bravo and all these trash networks will continue to thrive because people can’t control their impulse to watch pre scheduled trainwrecks. I hope otherwise but….Kim K hasn’t lose any pull, it seems.