E! and “American Idol” presenter and producer Ryan Seacrest has been accused by a former stylist of his of sexual misconduct.
In an exclusive report by Variety, Suzie Hardy was a single mother when she began working as Seacrest’s stylist in 2007.
The job had gone well enough, a letter written from Hardy’s attorney and addressed to Seacrest, E!, its corporate parent NBCUniversal, revealed.
However, after a while, Seacrest began bringing his penis against her while in his underwear, groping her vagina, and once slapped her buttock so hard a large welt remained for hours.
Hardy endured the abuse because of her child, the letter said, but lost her job in 2013 after reporting the abuse to human resources executives at E!.
E! had said an internal investigation was carried out and found “insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest.”
Seacrest’s lawyer, Andrew Baum, speaking to Variety, revealed that Hardy had requested $15 million from Seacrest for her not to go forward with the “false claims.” He said:
It is upsetting to us that Variety is electing to run a ‘story’ about untrue allegations that were made against my client, after they were told that the accuser threatened to make those false claims against him unless he paid her $15 million. At that time, the claimant threatened to issue a demonstrably false press statement unless she was paid. Instead, my client proactively and publicly denied the claims and agreed to fully cooperate with E!’s investigation about the matter.
On January 31st the network notified us that their independent third-party investigation had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support her claims, effectively, clearing my client’s name. It’s telling that after my client refused to pay her money, and the E! investigation resulted as it did, that she is now coming forward to share her debunked story to the press.