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Ryan Seacrest's former personal stylist Suzy Hardy in an exclusive Variety story laid out detailed claims that he sexually harassed her in numerous ways for several years, allegations that E! had recently dismissed after a two-month investigation.
Hardy, who worked with Seacrest from 2007 to 2013, provided Variety her original November letter addressed to E!, its parent NBCUniversal and Seacrest. She also spoke with Variety and provided witnesses who heard her stories at the time they happened.
She said Seacrest would hug her and grind against her in his underwear. In at least one instance, she he grabbed her genitals without her permission. Another time, she said he slapped her bottom so hard, it left a welt, which she took a picture of. She said after reporting his actions to E! human resources in 2013, she was let go of her job.
Hardy’s attorney — Howard King of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano LLP — asked Seacrest and E! to “come up with a plan to address the treatment of all women at the networks and to take responsibility for the wrongful treatment” of Hardy, and threatened “more formal action” if the request were ignored.
Soon after he received the letter, Seacrest publicly revealed the existence of the accusations without details and later claimed he was being blackmailed.
Variety said nobody in Seacrest’s camp or E! provided evidence she had asked for any compensation.
A month ago, E! finished an investigation from an outside counsel and concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to give credence to her allegations.
The “American Idol” host and Atlanta native has steadfastly denied any sexual harassment on his part in past statements.
Hardy said she kept her job for years because she was a single mom and needed the gig.
Hardy said she decided to go public after Seacrest wrote in a Hollywood Reporter column that the E! investigation found “no evidence of wrongdoing on my part.” The reality is they wrote “insufficient evidence.”
She is no longer in the entertainment industry. She told Variety: “I came from a freelance life, and it was scary. It was hard to raise a child and not know where your next check was going to come from, and if that gig was going to take me out of town for two weeks. It was a better deal all the way around, even if I was being abused. It’s sick to say, but it was true.”