Chris Hardwick is ‘heartbroken’ about his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra’s abuse claims


Spike TV's 'Guys Choice' 2014

On Friday, Chloe Dykstra published a heart-wrenching essay on Medium. You can read the full piece here, and there are trigger warnings at the source. Without naming names, Dykstra details her years-long relationship with a well-known older man who was emotionally and sexually abusive to her throughout their entire relationship. When they broke up, Dykstra says her ex held a grudge and went after her professionally, bad-mouthing her to everyone who might have hired her. Her most famous ex is Chris Hardwick, best known for his omnipresence in “nerd culture,” from the Nerdist podcast to his talk show with Comedy Central to his hosting duties at Comic-Con panels and more. As I said, Dykstra did not name her abuser. But everyone assumed or knew. Hours after her Medium essay was published, she posted these tweets:

She’s right about Nerdist – Hardwick left Nerdist last year, and the company spent all of Friday scrubbing any and all references of Hardwick from their site. AMC also pulled the plug on Hardwick’s talk show (Talking Dead) and they canceled his appearances at Comic-Con next month, where he was due to host some events around The Walking Dead, and he was also due to host the Doctor Who panel. You can read AMC’s statement here – it actually sounds like they’re taking Dykstra’s claims very, very seriously. Chris Hardwick is feeling the gravity of the situation too, which is why he ended up issuing a statement:

“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond. I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post. Our three year relationship was not perfect — we were ultimately not a good match and argued — even shouted at each other — but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her.”

“When we were living together, I found out that Chloe cheated on me, and I ended the relationship. For several weeks after we broke up, she asked me to get back together with me and even told me she wanted to have kids with me, ‘build a life’ with me and told me that I was ‘the one,’ but I did not want to be with someone who was unfaithful. I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur. I was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her. As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”

[From THR]

Chloe had described her side of the cheating/break up story in the Medium essay – she was in so much pain (psychologically and physically) that she basically sabotaged the relationship with Hardwick with the first guy she saw. She fully admits that she cheated on Hardwick, and she wrote that she did it so she could have an excuse to get out. She expected Hardwick to dump her and leave her alone. What happened, from her perspective, was that Hardwick begged her to stay and when she pulled the plug, he blacklisted her in their industry as retaliation for leaving him.

Needless to say, I believe Chloe. Most women who are in or around “nerd culture” believe Chloe. Most women who have ever seen or interacted with Hardwick believe Chloe. I think some of the men who have met Hardwick believe Chloe too, which is why his employers can’t cancel their contracts with him fast enough.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" - Los Angeles Premiere

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

163 Responses to “Chris Hardwick is ‘heartbroken’ about his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra’s abuse claims”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. WendyNerd says:

    As a bitch, lover, past child, future mother, sinner, and saint, I hope Chris Hardwick sits on a porcupine that has been slathered in hot sauce. Twice.

  2. detritus says:

    F*ck him and his weasel words, pulling on being a father on Father’s Day, as if Cosby and Trump and Weinstein aren’t fathers. I stand with Chloe.

  3. ichsi says:

    He’s a gross weasel who showed his gross weasel face at the right time and place when the oh so so oppressed nerd culture became mainstream. Urgh. May his disgusting control fetish bite him in his short, untalented a*s.

  4. Ayra. says:

    Have you seen the responses from former colleagues? If you didn’t already believe Chloe, the responses from people who HAVE come into contact with him should help.

    • Nancy says:

      His mother-in-law Patty Hearst tweeted: “Beware the person who stabs you and then tells the World they’re the one that’s bleeding.” She also tweeted “bunny boiler.” ?????????????????

      • KBB says:

        Sounds like he’s been spinning some tales about Chloe and she believes him. Hopefully that means he isn’t treating her daughter the way he treated Chloe.

      • blank77 says:

        thats rich coming from THE patty hearst

      • H says:

        I hope Lydia Hearst has money because I think you can put a fork in Hardwick’s career. And yeah, when does Patty Hearst have a right to talk about ‘bunny boilers?’ Miss I Robbed A Bank in the seventies and went to jail. As someone who claimed to be a victim of her kidnappers and Stockholm Syndrome, you’d think Patty would keep her mouth shut or stand behind Chloe.

      • ErgoSatz says:

        Eeeh. Expect the mother of a borderline grown man baby to be in deep collusive denial. My ex’s mother shocked me w compounding his verbal abuse until I realized- she hatched that bad seed.

      • Natalia says:

        Very disappointed in Patty Hearst. You’d think she would learn, but then why? Money is power.

        The father of a friend mine was the FBI photographic expert in San Francisco who analyzed the bank photographs. She was into it, which of course was obvious. But his testimony was used in the trial.

        Bunny Boiler my ass. Divorce looming. Why’d Lydia Hearst marry him in the first place??

      • ELX says:

        Wannabe actress Lydia Hearst isn’t going to like THIS kind of exposure. Patty Hearst has had a good bit of success with her elaborate story of abuse at the hands of the SLA—expensive criminal defense attorneys ARE worth the money—never mind that it was all a lie. It’s not surprising that she would support Hardwick’s storytelling, at least until Lydia makes an exit—then she’ll be “shocked to discover what he was really like.”

      • magnoliarose says:

        No need to attack Lydia. She is simply a future victim with a tale to tell one day. Patty Hearst speaking out just makes me want to laugh until I drop but maybe she believes him. He’s gotten very far and is probably smooth with his lies.
        People like this creep launch smear campaigns and they start well before the victim even speaks out so that no one will believe them. I would easily believe he laid the groundwork with his inlaws and everyone else before she said a word.

      • MissMarierose says:

        Wow. There’s some projection from Patty Hearst, she who got away with bank robbery and murder thanks to daddy’s money.

        And now for some irony: I went to Patty Hearst’s twitter page and it seems she retweeted Rose McGowen’s “Believe women” tweet in January.

      • Snappyfish says:

        I have no idea what the truth is here. I do find it interesting, considering her claims, she continued to appear on @midnignt well into 2016.

      • tealily says:

        Did she, @Snappyfish? I don’t see it on imdb.

      • Snappyfish says:

        I looked too before I posted and agree I didn’t see it. However Jacinda Barrett, Janey Varney & Chloe (all exes) were on. O e of our sub-contractors built the “new set” for @midnight and said she was around & almost hanger on around that time. I took him at his word.

        From all I have read I still don’t know what end is up. I hope she is safe and is okay.

  5. hindulovegod says:

    Comedy Central knew enough to pull the plug on him last year, and they’re not exactly a bastion of feminism. The issues there were more about his racism, though. The guy is a world-class douche.

  6. MI6 says:

    I’m not saying he’s not guilty, but it’s a bit scary that his career is bascially over on heresay when there hasn’t been a formal accusation.

    • WendyNerd says:

      You don’t count a published essay and several corroborating sources to be a “formal accusation”? What, then, exactly would be “formal” enough?

      It’s too bad that we’re willing to write off the health, safety, and welfare of a woman over an informal “career”.

      • MI6 says:

        No, I don’t. And before you @ me, I’m a survivor.
        There was no legal accusation. What happened to due process?
        He may indeed be giutily, but this smakxs of McCarthyism.

      • HelloSunshine says:

        My hope is that she releases the audio/video evidence she says she has and puts any doubt to rest. I think it hurts the movement when people accuse and say they have evidence but won’t release it. I believe her, but I also want the movement to stay strong so that people like Chloe can continue to come forward and be supported.

      • KBB says:

        Why do people think due process relates to a person’s reputation and career? He is not in jail, his due process has not been violated.

      • MeowuiRose says:

        I agree with you MI6….I’m going to get so much sh*t for this but if she felt the need to share it why not say his name. It’s kinda game playing to heavily imply and hope ppl guess the right person.

        I 100% believe her, full stop. What I dont get down with is how these type of allegations are shared. IMO, it gives ppl a reason to discredit you.

      • FLORC says:

        Meow
        I get your opinion. Why not call them out? If it’s true, why not?
        Having experienced this… I get why. The blind item format is real and works. Also, if it’s TRUE you’re protecting yourself from liability to a degree and everyone can come to those conclusions themselves.

        I believe her fully. And Hardwick doesn’t fully deny or address his fault in the abuse. He does attempt to blame her.
        But to say names… you immediately take center stage as a villain. To send internet sluethers digger redirects.

      • Lyla says:

        Due process? Was he deprived of life, liberty, and property without fair treatment by the judicial system?

      • Veronica S. says:

        McCarthyism would require several layers of government convening to infringe on the rights of citizens, intervene with their rights to political and ideological pursuits, and destroy their lives and careers permanently. It is not even remotely comparable to what’s going on here. Private companies are not required by any law to maintain employees whose behaviors reflect on them poorly.

      • tealily says:

        Yes, KBB and Veronica S. And I don’t see how not publicly releasing evidence “hurts the movement.” This woman owes us nothing. Calling out predators doesn’t “hurt the movement.” It hurts predators.

    • cr says:

      This essay apparently made public what the rest of his colleagues knew about him. I think the speed in which his (former) employers are backing away from him indicates to me that they knew.
      And this isn’t McCarthyism.

    • Anniefannie says:

      Her detailed and thorough account of their relationship and his abuse rang true on so many levels. It’s clear she needed time and healing to comprehend the devastating impact. I can relate to so much of what she endured because of what she thought was love but was clearly a controlling relationship. Ultimately she’s the victor and I hope these revelations haunt him for his the rest of his mysoginistic life…

    • Mia4s says:

      “What happened to due process?”

      Well @MI6 as someone who has worked in the legal system for over a decade I can tell you it’s pretty much doing fine…except for it now being a term being constantly wrongly applied by random commenters on the Internet who appear to think it means something it doesn’t.

      Look at the language of these press releases, he has been suspended for the most part, not completely cancelled, in order for his employer to look at this more closely. To not do so loses them money and viewers. Perfectly fair. They find her credible and given the commentary from many others on their interactions with him that seems…logical.

      Call me when he gets hauled off to jail and we can talk about…sigh…”due process”.

      • FLORC says:

        In my experience “due process” was exclusively used as a term to attack the accuser and protect investigation into the accused. He was fully protected.

      • MI6 says:

        As someone who has also worked closely with and in the legal world (and not afforded the benefits of its justice), I maintain that without a perp even being named/accused, dismissal/suspension from and/or being deprived of work is grounds for a potential lawsuit.
        Again, I am not defending his innocence, only the right to a fair trial/censureship AFTER a formal accusation is made and he is named as the perp.
        And thank you, Meow. He sounds guilty as hell. Why not name him?

      • Missy says:

        @Mia4s THANK YOU. As an attorney, it kills me when people throw around important legal terms without bothering to look up what they actually mean.

        1. Due process is an obligation of the judicial system – of the government – it doesn’t apply here because Chris is not on trial.

        2. This is not “hearsay.” In lay terms, hearsay is basically rumors that cannot be substantiated. In this situation, Chloe is speaking her own truth; she is the source herself. Her essay is not hearsay.

      • Millie says:

        MI6, I agree with you that if Hardwick is being suspended without this being properly investigated, that the employer might be opening themselves up to a lawsuit. Although, it has to be said that I know nothing of the employment contract and my experience is in HR in a unionized environment in a different country. In the labour relations world that I operate, after an investigation, the employer will determine if there is grounds for dismissal (or other punative action) and, if not, it will provide the employee with their “lost” wages. That way the employer is afforded the opportunity to investigate appropriately and ensures that no one is unfairly penalised. Therefore, the employer can demonstrate that they acted in good faith and present their evidence in the event of a lawsuit.

        The thing that I think needs to be said here as that just because no formal complaint against him was announced in the media, it doesn’t mean that no formal complaint has been made to his employer. I don’t think that it is out of the realm of possibility that a coworker read the piece by his ex-girlfriend and suddenly had the courage to say what they wanted to say for a long time. It is possible for two seperate things to happen concurrently.

    • KNy says:

      The thing about men like this is that their abuse is an open secret. They aren’t a-holes in one particular area – they are a-holes across the board and they do not hide it well. They get catered to because they are rich (mostly white) men and have been getting away with it forever. When the dam breaks, it BREAKS and then others who have kept quiet don’t anymore.

      When men have gotten taken down because of the #metoo movement (Weinstein, Cosby, Lauer, etc.), it isn’t an example of their careers getting ruined because of one accusation. These men are systematic abusers.

    • Rachelina says:

      I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I agree with you.

      • Justwastingtime says:

        I worked at the finance division of the company that owned NBC almost 18 years ago .. so even at GE Capital we knew that Matt Lauer was an abusive jerk ( not a rapist) and further that senior management LOVED him…. they used to gush over him in a weird way. My point is that it’s such open secret in companies.

    • Bridget says:

      Why do you think that it’s over on the basis of just one accusation? Just because it’s the only one you’ve heard, doesn’t mean that it’s the only one out there. His employers could be privy to a lot of behavior you don’t see.

    • WendyNerd says:

      Some people don’t like pressing charges. I suppose rape survivors who don’t are “suspect” too?

      And actually McCarthyism DID involve legal accusations, so…. you don’t know what McCarthyism is.

    • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

      Formal accusation for what? Being a manipulative controlling asshole who emotionally abuses his girlfriend and uses his connections to ruin her career is actually not a crime.

      He denied sexually assaulting her in his statement, but she didn’t strictly speaking accuse him of sexual assault. It was a litany of other offenses.

      To be clear I’m not downplaying what he did. He was a weasel in the relationship and a weasel in his statement. But I’m trying to understand what a “formal accusation” was supposed to look like in this case?

      If you’re worried about his opportunity to defend himself and his reputation, his recourse is to sue. But she says she’s got the “receipts” so basically she’s saying “bring it on.”

      • Lee1 says:

        Yeah, all of this.

        Not to mention, where is the concern for the work opportunities that were denied to her when he blackballed her in their industry?

      • Mariposa says:

        I wondered about this as well. There was psychological abuse, and he took control of her work-life, social-life and sex-life. He isolated her and made her dependent on him financially, so that if she left him, she wouldn’t have work (which is what happened). It seems like he never physically abused her, but he didn’t need to, because he was getting all he wanted from emotional abuse and control.

        There are laws against coercive control in the UK, which are quite new. I’m wondering if this kind of case would fall under those types of laws. They look at the amount of control a partner (usually a male) has over a woman. Is she allowed out without him? How does she get her money (does she have the atm cards)? Are the windows locked down at the house to stop any one leaving? Who makes decisions about small things or big things? Etc etc. You have to show a long pattern of the behavior.

    • Bea(trice) says:

      That’s not really what due process means and a lot of times this abusive (especially emotional) behavior cannot be tried in a court of law. Metoo being compared to McCarthyism is the exact reason we need this movement. Also, it’s very easy to preface anonymous online comments with “I’m a survivor.” I mean it’s akin to saying “I have black friends.”
      I could say I’m a millionaire size zero model who lives on a yacht and you could never prove that was true or false.
      As for why she did it anonymously, I believe her when she said she didn’t know it would blow up as soon as and as fast as it did. Even if she HAD named him, people would still say the same things. Internalized misogyny is real y’all.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I understand your view but I just want to point out that in his case he was dropped so fast because there is evidence that this is true. My instincts are ALWAYS “keep private matters private”. It is how I was brought up so I am always a little appalled when someone airs their personal business publicly and suspicious of the person doing the airing.
      However, he is a public figure and there is no way to stop his abuse unless he is exposed. He is actively trying to destroy her behind the scenes so he left her no choice but to go public. She obviously had a lot of support from many corners for doing so and I support her too.
      I just want to say no one is fired this fast based on one allegation. They are cutting ties to save themselves from future lawsuits and issues. The complaints by others are already on record most likely and it is worth it to get rid of him.

    • tealily says:

      It’s not hearsay. It is a first hand account.

    • MSat says:

      My biggest problem with her blog post is the phrasing “I let him sexually assault me.” By definition, you don’t “let” someone sexually assault you. You give consent, or you don’t. She could feel pressured to have sex because he emotionally manipulated her to the point that she said yes, but the act of saying yes (she says, “I succumbed”) means that is not sexual assault. I don’t think this is helpful to women who clearly say “no” to someone who then does it anyway. (Like what happened to Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, etc.)

      It’s not that I don’t believe her. But he didn’t do anything against the law based on her account of the relationship – he just sounds like a controlling asshole. That’s not against the law yet. I’d love it if there were fewer controlling assholes in charge of things but I don’t know if this is the way do accomplish that.

  7. Heat says:

    AMC hasn’t cancelled him completely…yet. They said they are postponing Talking with Chris Hardwick (which was to premiere tonight with Donald Glover) while they investigate Chloe’s claims, and allegedly Chris is the one who decided not to do Comic-Con. Suuuuure. My theory is he is hoping this will blow over before the fall when Walking Dead comes back. They haven’t spoken on Talking Dead, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before more people are reporting similar stories and he is a goner.

    • AnotherDirtyMartini says:

      @Heat – your information seems to be dead-on accurate. I’ve read the same thing from various publications. Some fans are strongly suggesting that Yvette Nicole Brown take over CH’s Talking Dead hosting job; however, I have not seen AMC address any show other than Talking with Chris Hardwick.

      I don’t know why this #metoo hit me so hard. I usually have a good “sniffer” for POS’. That said, I believe Chloe. I started researching after I read the accusation & was surprised to see so many people (I don’t recall names, sorry) saying that he’s a racist, sexist POS. 😮 Racist, also? I never picked up on that 😫. I believe Chris Hardwick is probably a better actor than he is comedian or host 😡. I hope the racism charges see the light of day. I want to know what he’s said or done!

      The sexism bothers me immensely also, but while reading Chloe’s article so much of it rang true. I can definitely imagine CH calling sex with an ill Chloe just lying there as “starfishing”. Sounds like his brand of humor 😖 And his asking her dr’s immediately after her ectopic surgery “when can we have sex?” WTF?! I feel like my POS sniffer is broken, and that disturbs me.

      • ChillyWilly says:

        Don’t feel bad. I never got creep vibes from watching him on Talking Dead either. I haven’t heard or read his other stuff. Some guys are so good at playing the nice guy. It’s disturbing.

      • lucy2 says:

        I found him very annoying and increasingly fake, but I never got the abusive vibe from him either, and my POS sniffer is usually pretty good too. He seemed better at hiding it than others.

        As for the racism claims, I know his old late night show was called to task a few times, but I’m getting the impression these claims are more things that people heard him say privately, or at least not on camera.

      • AnotherDirtyMartini says:

        Thank you @chillywilly and lucy2. Glad I’m not alone.

      • Down and Out says:

        I used to regularly listen to his podcast. He started to bother me many times with the way he would talk about himself, like a me versus the world situation. Even towards the end of it, with resounding success, he still played the part of the underdog. It was weird. It seemed like he had cultivated an identity of white male victimhood that he couldn’t shake even with success.

        Also I remember watching an episode of @midnight (not a regular viewer, just wanted to watch this specific episode) when Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement were promoting What We Do In the Shadows and it was crazy obvious Taika (who is lovely & I adore) was over it/couldn’t stand him. As soon as Taika was out of the game, he literally just walked off of the set rather than continue to stand there with Jermaine and whoeverotherdude. Which made Chris be all WTF. Made me laugh at the time but made me wonder if something was up.

        Anyway, random observations aside, I have no information. But I don’t need any. I believe Chloe.

      • FLORC says:

        Him on scripted shows he plays a nice guy. His standup… his impromptu… he is totally this pos. The comments are very much how he would speak.

      • Bea(trice) says:

        I think, as others have said, it was more obvious in his podcasts and stand up. He seemed nice but you could see the edges there. I also remember how he talked about his old gf, Jacinda Barrett, and there was bitterness in his words. Sometimes this stuff hides beneath the surface.

      • tealily says:

        He’s always struck me as a real douche, but not necessarily an abuser. That said, though, I wasn’t exactly surprised by the accusation either.

  8. Mariposa says:

    Woah, I just read her whole piece. It rang true on so many levels, including the part at the end on why she stayed — because she felt there was was water in the well.

    A few years ago, I was overseas, and briefly dated a man who was charming initially, but as soon as he thought he ‘had me’ would almost treat me as though I didn’t exist (actually, my words to him were, “I feel like you want a prostitute instead of a girlfriend”.)

    The whole thing was very brief — I knew to get out — but I felt absolutely gutted for several weeks. I honestly felt as though the sun would never shine again without him, and as though I might as well die. It was intense, but that is what his combo-punch of attention/rejection had done to my mind! It was amazing to watch myself go through all these emotions for someone I knew was not worth it.

    I remember talking to my sister at the time and she said to me, “there is no water at that well. There might be water for someone else, but there isn’t for you, and there never will be, so leave.” It was amazing, clear advice.

    I wish Chloe had had someone to help her like that when her nightmare began.

    • Bettyrose says:

      I spent 2 years of my early 20s in a similar relationship. Differences being the guy wasn’t yet powerful and didn’t have much interest in sex. But his need for total control, even laying down rules, was just like this. My reasons for stating were more along the lines of I was drifting, confused what I wanted from life, so it felt good to be with someone who was promising a certain future. Chloe’s story is real.

    • tealily says:

      I think that’s the most insidious thing about emotional abuse. We’re always told you’re supposed to look for the best in people, relationships are about compromise, etc. etc. It can be really hard to figure out where the line is between “well, this guy’s not perfect” and “this is abuse,” especially when the other person is reminding you of all the ways you aren’t perfect either and making you doubt your own thoughts and feelings. They’re careful to share just enough water that you keep coming back to the well.

  9. TheOriginalMia says:

    I believe her. She has no reason to lie. And the people coming out in support of her with their stories of his racism and his blacklisting of her have no reason to lie either.

  10. HelloSunshine says:

    Can anyone link me people backing Chloe up? I haven’t been able to find other comments backing her up and saying what other stuff CH has done and would like to read them. I also don’t have a Twitter so I can’t search for them and I feel like a lot of this is happening on twitter. Much appreciated!

    Even without reading the other stuff backing her up, I believe her. Her essay was so detailed and I have seen one person backing her up as far as her being blacklisted by him.

  11. grabbyhands says:

    He’s such a POS and his “explanation” is such a textbook example of how these types of assh*loes work – the crazy, obsessed ex who just couldn’t let it go trope. And THEN he follows it up with the even worse, “as a future father, I suddenly figured out that hey, maybe women MIGHT actually count as human beings and not just as blow up sex dolls that I’m entitled to now that I have clout and money”.

    His is the poster boy for the toxic male nerd culture and all it encompasses.

  12. Sankay says:

    This probably why I’m still single in my 50s but anyone who tries to control me gets the door.

  13. STRIPE says:

    Few things: interesting that he only seems to be denying the abuse allegations (unless I’m misreading) and being sure to spend a paragraph talking about her cheating (victim blaming much!)

    Also, his new wife is an heiress (Hearst). I would not be surprised if he has treated her much differently than he treated Chloe, since his wife would be financially and professionally fine without him. He had power of Chloe and abused it.

    • lucy2 says:

      I truly hope his wife is treated better, and I suspect you’re right, there’s a power balance difference there, plus not as much of an age difference. If the wife is being treated poorly, I hope she has help so she can make the best decisions for herself.

      Also, according to Chloe, the cheating was “a kiss”, which she told him about and he forgave. He’s trying to twist the shame back onto her and make it sound much more than she said it was. This is not surprising, it’s classic abusive gaslighting.

      I bet he thought that was a good statement of defense, but it really made him look much, much worse. The future father stuff is getting him ripped apart, and rightly so.

      • KBB says:

        I had read articles about the whole thing and his statement, but I read what she wrote for the first time today and I literally laughed out loud when I read it was a single kiss. His statement made it sound like she started sleeping with someone else. It was a single kiss that she immediately confessed and he feels the need to include that in his statement? I have no trouble believing he was an abusive creep.

      • Delilah says:

        As someone who has experienced emotional abuse in several relationships including my marriage, I can say the power dynamic is not necessarily a mitigating factor with abusers. If you happen to have more money (or come from more money) for example, the abuser will play victim and emotionally blackmail you into believing they think they aren’t good enough for you so that you can spend your energy trying to compensate for their insecurity. Although the reality is they aren’t good enough for you (especially in respect to character) you will not see this right away. Again, because you’ve been gaslit to overlook their shortcomings in order to protect your abuser’s ego. So when it is you want to raise grievances about issues you get confused when they switch from playing victim, weak and insecure to tyrannical, domineering and insensitive. The juxtaposition is too much to reconcile. So you put up with the bullshit. And on and on. Eventually you start to make all kinds of compromises and concessions, justifying and rationalizing so many choices to your detriment and their benefit. And just like Chloe said, you are far to alienated to allow someone else to snap you back to reality. One day your abuser just has to go too far where you can’t even ignore the fact that you are in an abusive relationship. My husband sabotaged all our attempts at achieving actual pregnancy while claiming he wanted to be a father more than anything. After all, he said—it was his idea to get off birth control so how could he be opposed to family planning? Never mind how significantly sex decreased after going off birth control. How can a couple barely having sex, have high hopes for pregnancy, conceive? And with IVF—which is the final path, he gaslit me every step of the way, complaining about his minimal steps disclaiming what if I can’t stop cycling? How many cycles did I intend to do? Mind you, a person who is determined to achieve a goal is preoccupied what can be done versus setting limits. The “how soon can I have sex” with Chloe occurrence perfectly illustrated facets of the abuser—prioritizing his needs to the detriment of her health.

    • L says:

      Hearst is his wife? And she is not pregnant? Why did he say that?

    • BorderMollie says:

      Quite possibly, but being married to powerful women can sometimes make toxic behavior in men worse as they feel emasculated. Btw, looking at pictures of Hearst (his wife) and she is alarmingly thin. I really hope everything’s ok there.

  14. dd says:

    I had a weird and really bad twitter encounter with him years ago, started by me critisizing him for giving a bad person a platform, and he lost his ever loving mind on me tearing me to shreds. At the time I was really upset and shocked at the rage level but figured it was my own dang fault for starting it. Still, the interaction was so wrong I thought of it every time I heard his name for years.

    Then I was at an artist retreat of sorts years later and there are a bunch of his staff from @midnight and in the evening they started swapping horror stories the likes of which were pretty much exactly what I had experienced except they knew the guy in person. And again there was just something wrong, there is a difference between “my boss is a jerk” and my boss is a controlling monster with ego maniacal tendencies who also has what is very much an abusive streak, which is where all these stories went. They kind of thought like I did though, they were mostly grateful to have jobs and didn’t think they had to place to criticize him because they just assumed other people must be worse.

    I think this guy was smart when he capitalized and geek culture because it was a niche that had been under represented, but I don’t think this guy was ever a geek, just an opportunist. I believe every word this woman says. I hope people are distancing themselves because they’ve known how awful he was for years, just not the depths of it, and are thrilled to get away from him finally.

  15. Hmmm says:

    His wife kind of looks like Chloe

  16. launicaangelina says:

    I believe Chloe after reading her post. My belief in her story was reinforced on Twitter. Many people who’ve worked with him, or in his universe, have come out of the woodwork corroborating her story or have their own stories.

  17. Other Renee says:

    I believe every word of her story and admire her for coming forward with it. I hope others will see themselves in her story and break free from their abusers. It’s amazing how quickly he established total dominance over her. She said two weeks. Who is the woman she referenced, the one who helped Hardwick try to destroy her career?

  18. Sparkly says:

    I’m so mad about this. I’m a huge TWD fan (or was – they’ve really ruined it), and I really like Talking Dead. I feel bad for inadvertently supporting yet another evil abuser. And her story does ring scarily true. I’ve not seen other people’s comments, but I’ll look around.

    I kind of like the idea of Yvette Nichole Brown taking over, but honestly, they’ve basically killed both WD shows so might as well let TD go. IF there is proof or if other people truly back up his awfulness, then I am okay with him losing his career over this. Anyone who’s blacklisted someone deserves it if it comes back around to bite them. We have heard too many stories of talented women being purposefully blacklisted as a way to keep victimizing after the physical stuff is over. If a man behaves so egregiously that no one wants to work with him anymore, good.

  19. HeyThere! says:

    I believe her. I sadly have a very similar story, kind of where a older man I became involved with was a prince at first. I moved across county, was isolated from family and friends, then all the rules and craziness slowly started. Luckily it didn’t go on for longer than 9 months but when I look back the 9 months felt like years. He was a closet alcoholic millionaire who make me financially dependent on him immediately upon moving. I wasn’t allowed to work, have male friends, have girl friends even really, I had to eat certain things, dress a certain way and yes, be available and ready every fucking night. He tracked my luxury car he bought me and my phone. I wasn’t allowed to have facebook. I couldn’t visit home without him because I had x boyfriends he thought I would cheat with when I was across country. I found out he was divorced and insanely jealous and insecure in relationships. He ordered prescription drugs online from over seas and would mix them with hard alcohol. I obviously didn’t know this at first until I found the invoice and mail stashed away. IT WAS HELL but it didn’t happen all at once. Like I said, charming to horror story in 9 months flat. Spent the last 2 months of my relationship terrified of him and planning my escape, worried he would kill me if he found out my plan to leave. When I left, I left with nothing. I had the clothes on my back and my a few purses I stuff with my personal belongings. I am now married to my high school sweetheart, we have a few babies and can’t even begin to wonder where my life would be if I stayed. It honestly feels like ten lifetimes ago if I think about it, which I never do but this story made me think of it. I had awful nightmares and was paranoid he was stalking me, because he was. He quickly found a single mom of a cute young boy to move on to. I pray for them all the time. This was literally ten years ago and I still worry for them and I don’t even know if they are together! I do not let that short, toxic, abusive relationship define me. F%#* that. I believe her and wish her healing and happiness.

    • Other Renee says:

      HeyThere, your story is terrifying. What is more terrifying is how many of these abusers are out there preying on the vulnerable. I’m so glad you moved on to a better, happier life.

      • HeyThere! says:

        Other Renee, thank you! I’m definitely living my best(happiest) life now. I still can’t believe it happen to me. If you knew me ever you would think, “she would never let this happen to her”, well shit happens! It’s very crazy how people can pretend to be one person then slowly the act stops. Big hugs to anyone in a similar experience.

      • Other Renee says:

        HeyThere, part of a sociopath’s MO is the ability to be utterly charming and suck people in. True in personal relationships and various forms of con games that lead to theft and other crimes. I knew a man who turned out to be a huge sociopathic con artist, fleecing people in two countries. Nicest most charming guy ever. He fooled everyone around him. Til he got caught and arrested. We were all in shock. Including his boyfriend who was genuinely a nice guy and totally stunned.

  20. Bliss 51 says:

    For Hello Sunshine, here’s a link to a Pajiba article, http://www.pajiba.com/celebrities_are_better_than_you/chris-hardwick-is-a-gaslighting-sob.php
    and if you scroll through the comments to @ Wrestling Fan you will see a screenshot from Chris Gore and his words on working with Hardwick. I can’t copy and paste and there are many Chris Gores on FB.

  21. Lyla says:

    I read Chris Hardwick’s response before I read Chloe’s article and found it douchey. What’s with the future father line when he and his wife aren’t even expecting? I’m surprised he didn’t just say future father to daughters. Eye roll. And then he mentions her cheating.

    Anyway, I believe Chloe.

    • KBB says:

      The future father thing is so absurd. Literally every man and boy could be considered a “future father” and it has nothing to do with their behavior towards women. “Future father” is somehow even more ridiculous than saying “as the father of a daughter…”

  22. WTF says:

    I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I’m ready for the backlash.
    I believe everything that she said in the essay, and I don’t think this was an “abusive” relationship. It sounds like it was a terrible relationship and kudos for her getting out of it, but abuse is a serious allegation and even believing everything she says I don’t see abuse here.

    The job – she says he insinuated that she would be ungrateful to take it. Not that he pushed her, or harrassed or threatened her to take it.
    The same with the rules, and her allegations in general. He sounds like a jerk, but are all jerks automatically abusive?
    Telling someone to stay in the hotel room while you run around and try to get other girls’ numbers makes you an a$$hole, not an abuser. In my mind, it rises to the level of abuse if you are threatened or bullied or physically restrained to stay in the room.

    I don’t yell when I’m in an argument with a partner, and I would break up with anyone that yelled at me. But I know many couples that do, and I wouldn’t consider them abusive.

    I don’t want to minimize what she went through. It sounds like he’s awful to be around. But is that the same thing as being abusive?
    The blacklisting her after they broke up is a terrible and sh$tty thing to do. Unfortunately people do take revenge on their exes. Especially when there’s infidelity. I’m not condoning it. But I don’t see that as abuse.

    I’ll take my verbal assaults now…

    • Hannah says:

      @WTF I’m not sure where you are coming from at all or if you only read his statement because several of the behaviours she lists are listed as abusive behaviour on national and/or regional domestic abuse services i.e. not being allowed to go out without him, not being allowed to talk to other people, not being allowed to have male friends, removing all photos of male friends, etc, etc.

      An old boyfriend of mine once came home and told me the details of the woman he had just hooked up with, asked me if I could smell her on him, she was fat, I was too skinny, I couldn’t give him what she did. I kicked him out there and then. I think by your standards that would be considered a “bad” relationship? Fair enough, if you like. It was one time, and the relationship ended.

      My friend, unbeknownst to anybody else, was going through the same thing with her husband. He would say terrible terrible things about her body, and why he cheated on her each weekend, sometimes he brought women home and she had to listen to them in the spare room. She felt helpless to kick him out and told nobody. He had exuded complete power and control over her, she was helpless but to go along with it. Just like Chloe, and the sex, and the work, and the alienated friends – that’s not a bad relationship, that’s an abusive one.

    • H says:

      If you’re truly asking and not just a troll, then you need to research how abusers control, gaslight and stalk people. Because every single one of the things Hardwick did fit that profile. I’m only speaking as someone who volunteered at a rape crisis and domestic violence center in college. Educate yourself and perhaps you’ll have a different opinion.

      • Other Renee says:

        He forced and/or coerced her into having sex when she clearly did not want it, threatening (in a coercive manner) to leave her if she did not comply (telling her he left his last girlfriend because of lack of sex). That is abuse. She is giving examples of what she endured on a DAILY BASIS for three years. I’m sure there were many, many more examples she could have shared. It was clearly a nightmare and she felt so beaten down emotionally that she felt paralyzed and could not leave. Until she finally did.

    • Theodora says:

      I agree with you, WTF. I read her account a couple of times, and I can’t see where the “abuse” is.

      He might be called a difficult guy, but he told her who he is and what the condtions for living with him were two weeks after they started dating, and he told her she could take it or leave it. If anything, he showed total honesty before they even began a serious relationship. She chose to stay.

      So, he didn’t like her to have close male friends. I know many people – and tbh, more women than men – who don’t like their SO to have very close friendships with the opposite sex. They don’t coerce their SO to leave their friends, they just state their preference in the beginning of their relationship, like this guy did. Are these people – mostly women – abusive?

      He never coerced her to do something or deprived her of her livelihood and means of survival to do what he said, which is what abuse is. He stated his preferences, wants and needs for a relationship. That’s what we all do and if we can’t find a common ground, we leave.

    • Honey Bear says:

      I agree. Not the same. Yes, he was a controlling prick, but it sounds like that was the arrangement and president he set for the beginning of the relationship. She should’ve simply excused herself from the “relationship” if he set controlling “rules” on basically second or third date. No sympathy for women that knowingly and willingly walk into relationships like this and then cry victim. At what point will women be responsible for their choices? I would walk away in a second if a guy showed himself to be an asshole two weeks in. Any reasonable and self-respecting person would, male or female.

    • intheminority says:

      I totally agree with you. She could have left him but chose to stay with him for that long for her own reasons.

    • intheminority says:

      I totally agree with you. She could have left him but chose to stay with him for that long for her own reasons.

    • Cinnamon says:

      It is emotional abuse. He does in fact threaten her because if she does not do as he says he will no longer love her/show her affection. His affection is like a prize she needs to win and that is linked with the idea that apart from him no one else will love her.

    • Bea(trice) says:

      Emotional abuse and being controlling is abuse. You absolutely are minimizing what she went through.
      Also I’m sick and TIRED of why did she stay with such an abusive person, there must have been something in it for her comments. Hi, please go to a woman’s shelter and ask the women there that question and ask them why they stayed with a psychical or emotional abuser . I’m sure that would go over really well. Women in all different socioeconomic backgrounds stay with abusive partners. Maybe just maybe look up the cycle of abuse. Using power and sex over a partner is a form of abuse. Abuse isn’t always just psychical.
      Also, what is with the comments on here saying “I know this won’t be a popular comment and I’m ready for the backlash??” I don’t agree with many of the popular opinions on here, and I would still stick by my convictions and just write my opinion or comment. It’s not just this site, most gossip and entertainment sites are standing with Chloe on this.

    • Nell Graham says:

      @WTF You are truly an amazing woman that is full of wisdom, strength, and confidence. It must be so much of a comfort to you to be above it all and just know you would never be abused. I mean you’re so superior to other women and would never be caught off guard in anyway. To able to navigate life with no mistakes, comforted my your judgemental attitude must be just make life a breeze.

      That was sarcasm by the way. Have you never tried to see the good in someone? Made a mistake? Thought you could handle a situation when you actually couldn’t? I wouldn’t let anyone with your smug, self righteous superiority near anyone going through or coming out of an abusive relationship.

      • Mariposa says:

        Look up coercive control laws in the UK, because I think what this guy did fits into them. Guys like these don’t have to escalate to physical abuse, because they have everything they want just by carrying out emotional and verbal abuse.

        So, it’s a different kind of abuse, but the person receiving it feels like they can’t leave, for so many reasons. E.g. Their job will be taken from them (which happened), they often no longer have family and friends around them, they feel like the guy will never let them go and the nightmare will just go on or even escalate, they feel like no other man will love them because their self-esteem is so low, they don’t have access to finances….etc,etc,etc. That is coercive control.

    • lucy2 says:

      To me, it’s very clearly emotional/psychological abuse.

      Summary definition from wikipedia:
      “Psychological abuse (also referred to as psychological violence, emotional abuse, or mental abuse) is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It is often associated with situations of power imbalance in abusive relationships including bullying, gaslighting, and abuse in the workplace.”

      If you read her essay again, you will see how often she says she was scared of him, scared of upsetting him, and scared of losing him. It sounds like she was not in a great place when they got together, and he intentionally made it a lot worse. Also, please re-read what she said about their physical side of their relationship.

  23. WTF says:

    @H
    My first job was in a shelter for battered women. So I am aware of emotional abuse. I think my argument was more that in this instance the only threat was that he would break up with her. And while I agree that if you are financially or otherwise dependent on someone then that can be abusive. But that wasn’t the case here. She was financially successful on her own.
    Look, he sounds like a jerk. But I do think it’s important to draw the line between jerk behavior and abusive behavior.

    • Bridget says:

      Then you should know that abusive relationships are characterized by power and control, and that each woman stays for her own reasons.

      • Natalia says:

        Yeah, “the only abuse” words by WTF smack of compartmentalization, minimizing and gaslighting. I actually question whether WTF actually did work at a domestic abuse shelter, or what actually did WTF learn while working there, if anything!

      • Bridget says:

        I am not trying to be mean here, but as someone who has also worked in a DV shelter and organization before, you would NEVER say “why doesn’t she just leave”. Ever. And the things that Chloe discussed are such blatant red flags, even the newest crisis line volunteer could point them out. Isolating her from friends. Controlling her physical appearance. Controlling what she can do and say. It’s pretty basic.

      • Natalia says:

        Exactly Bridget. I commented re WTF’s comments before reading Chloe’s essay. There is no way that WTF could construe her experiences as “the only abuse…” -shaking my head. I received prior extensive training and hands-on experience in a domestic violence shelter, facilitating all types of backgrounds of women into said shelter.

        I believed Chloe just from excerpts and paraphrases without even needing to read the whole thing which I did just now.

      • WTF says:

        If you look back at my comments, I never questioned why she didn’t leave. I know there are a lot of reasons women don’t leave abusive relationships (or bad relationships).

        Our shelter only housed women that were being pursued by their abuser. And the women had generally tried to leave several times before ending up there. I can be honest and say maybe that has skewed my perception of abuse. And it usually started with something like isolation. But in isolating them there was usually a threat of harm that went beyond I’m going to break up with you.

        I would like to hear your thoughts on where to draw the line between a guy that is a jerk and a guy that is abusive.

    • sunnydaze says:

      I think the difference is the impact the behavior has on the other person. So, for example, lets take the optimal “sugar daddy/mama” situation: Both partners enter into the relationship understanding there are certain expectations. The daddy/mama provides financial stability or wealth, travel, whatever. The partner agrees to always look good, have sex, whatever.Lets assume there is no abuse of those “rules”…both people are consenting adults who agree to an arrangement you or I might not agree with, but makes them happy (or feel secure). Each partner stays in their lane, and maybe both people are total jerks who just happen to have found a person to be a jerk with. But the moment the scales tip is when we need to talk about abuse. What *may* have started out as a more contractual relationship is now negatively impacting the partner. It’s no longer equal (if it ever was) and I’m sure she made attempts to let him know her hurt. Therefore, when he threatened to pull affection he was abusing whatever “contract” he set forth with her, as it surely wasn’t part of the deal that he would inflict emotional and psychological harm on her. It sneaks up…the “rules” probably started out fair enough, maybe she even appreciated he knew what he wanted, what he would/would not tolerate…but along the way he abused his part in the relationship…which, to me, is why I’m comfortable calling his behavior abusive as opposed to really dickish.

  24. Jayne Birkinb says:

    EntyLawyer over at CDAN tweeted that up to *six* other women are reporting similar past behavior from Hardwick. This ain’t over.

  25. Blackbetty says:

    Haven’t seen this guy in anything but late night talk shows.

  26. Eileen says:

    I don’t folllow TWD but I read the essay and all I can say is i believe he should be kept in a cage and fed with a stick for what he put her (and probably others) through!

  27. llkian says:

    Why will you be thinking because your lover left you, read about GREAT MUTABA on net

  28. RubyTuesday says:

    For anyone seeking corroboration, I came across this tweet:

    https://twitter.com/T_MECE/status/1008031061643755521?s=17

  29. Sway says:

    “Most women who are in or around “nerd culture” believe Chloe. Most women who have ever seen or interacted with Hardwick believe Chloe.”
    Who are those women? Did I miss something? Are there more accounts of his behavior or character online somewhere? I would like to read them…
    I usually believe the women, but something about this smells fishy. I am NOT a fan of Chris Hardwick, I watched TD several times but only because Norman Reedus appeared a few times. So I am not defending him, but intuitively … something is off. I’m just wondering.

  30. mela says:

    last paragraph of his statement is classic abuser BS. He is bringing up irrelevant and most likely “alternative” facts about her to make EXCUSES for his behavior. just totally deflecting from the problem here – HIS behavior.

    He is playing that whole – how bad could I be if she wanted to get back together with me? maybe because she was beat down and emotional and physically abused by you and her life was in shambles. Abusers have a great way of invading so much of your life and being this pervasive part of your life and their withdrawal of love and affection is extremely painful for victims as well. They withdraw their love from victims as a weapon as well

    so typical

    • chrissy says:

      EXACTLY!!!!!

      just like the part where he claims to be heart broken, yeh heartbroken she spoke up. if anyone has watched him on talking dead he always has to try to be louder and funnier then the guest, always interrupting or saying stuff that isn’t even funny, just to have the attention. he def has insecurity issues, but also something miss dykstra said she had to have surgery for an ectopic pregnancy and all hardwick could say and said the the DR in front of her mom was when can I have sex with her again? his photos on his accounts are so phony and staged to be how romantic and geez what a nice guy he is, its all an act and has been for years. he got into the nerd thing because he could not make it as an actor in Hollywood he has tried since the late 80s and with the rise of the nerd culture over the last decade he jumped aboard. he is a phony and a fraud and exposed for the creep he is. classic abusive behavior, manipulation, im the real victim blah blah blah, he is finally exposed for the creep he is, I hope his young wife smartens up and leaves.

  31. khalee qanbaz says:

    Merits a review in light of…