Hardy claimed that during her time working with Seacrest on E! News from 2007-2013, she was sexually harassed by the host. She detailed that she was hugged, groped and rubbed up against by Seacrest. She said that she was fired in 2013 after reporting the incidents to the network's human resources department.
Related: Ryan Seacrest’s former stylist reveals detailed sexual harassment allegations
Seacrest has repeatedly denied the claims and issued a lengthy statement about the accusations Tuesday.
“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,” Seacrest said in part of the statement. “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 tried to buy her silence by asking for money on multiple occasions—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.”
Related: Ryan Seacrest denies inappropriate behavior with stylist
E! initially announced it was conducting an investigation in November, when the allegations first emerged without Hardy's name attached. The investigation concluded in February. During that time, Seacrest hosted "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," on ABC, E!'s Golden Globes red carpet and E!'s Grammys red carpet. He also continued to host his radio show.
E! issued a statement Feb. 1 in response to the initial claims, saying an investigation into Seacrest's actions were conducted by "outside counsel" and "found insufficient evidence to substantiate allegations against Seacrest."
Credit: Frederick M. Brown
Credit: Frederick M. Brown
The network echoed that statement with another one issued Tuesday, after the Variety piece was published.
“E!'s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough. Over the course of a two month process, our outside counsel interviewed more than two dozen people regarding the allegations, including multiple separate meetings with the claimant and all firsthand witnesses that she provided. The investigator is an attorney with nearly 20 years experience and is highly regarded professionally. Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless.”
People reported that Seacrest's girlfriend, Shayna Taylor, posted an Instagram photo in support of the TV personality.
“I love you so much Ryan. You are the most respectful, well mannered, civil, gracious, loving, kind human being,” Taylor captioned the Wednesday post. “I have known you for 6 years and every day you impress me with your kindness. Not only to me or your friends and family, but most importantly in your work environment. You have worked SO hard to be where you are and you deserve it.”
The Academy Awards air March 4 at 8 p.m. on ABC.