Seacrest Will Stay On TV Despite Renewed Sexual Misconduct Claims

Lawrence Kim
March 4, 2018

Kelly Ripa is firmly Ryan Seacrest's corner: On Thursday, she told her co-host, who was accused of sexual harassment in a now-concluded E! investigation, she considers it a "privilege" to work with him.

Seacrest also will remain as host of American Idol when it returns March 11 on ABC, and he is continuing to co-host, with Kelly Ripa, their daily talk show, Live with Kelly and Ryan. "I'm very, very excited", she added.

"Of course I will", the 50-year-old chat show host said, adding, "Listen, you know, we should at the very least afford people the opportunity for truth, what the facts of the story are before hanging them out to dry".

Seacrest's lawyer said later that day that it was "upsetting" that Variety chose to run Hardy's story, and asserted that Hardy threatened to make the "false claims" if she did not receive $15 million.

"I think it is scary, you know", she continued. And we all do.

"I can not wait to see you there [at the Oscars]", Ripa told Seacrest on Thursday morning. She described years of unwanted sexual attention such as groping, grinding up against her and hugging her while in his underwear. "I have noticed that they keep cycling these women and I am going, is that so you don't have to pay another woman equally to Jason [Kennedy]? I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result". However, Suzie went public with her claims against Ryan even after the investigation results were released, leading to speculation that big stars may avoid a conversation with the host ahead of the ceremony. "I am not a jury... that is where this stuff gets tricky".

Seacrest responded to the Variety article in a statement on Tuesday, calling it a "salacious story".

E! News conducted an investigation after the network became aware of the accusations against Seacrest, and on February 1 said that "insufficient evidence" was found to support the allegations.

The testimonials may also be meant to downplay unverified rumors that A-list celebrities might avoid Seacrest on the Oscars red carpet in light of the Me Too movement in Hollywood. Scandal actress Bellamy Young was another person who spoke out against Ryan, saying, "I think this is the time to step aside and let someone of equal talent that is beyond reproach to be in charge".

"This person who has accused me of terrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars", the statement continued.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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