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Bellamy Young has apologized to Ryan Seacrest for saying he should not host E!’s red carpet coverage at the Oscars.
The “Scandal” star issued a statement on Tuesday saying she was “uninformed” on the issue when she suggested Seacrest should “step aside” in light of the recent sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“I have an apology to make,” Young said on Tuesday. “On Monday night on the red carpet, I spoke on record about something I had no first hand knowledge of. I trusted that the information that the journalist provided me with was complete, and I gave my general opinion based on the information he provided.”
Earlier in the day on Monday, Variety published details of “unwanted sexual aggression” alleged by Seacrest’s former stylist for “E! News.” Those allegations had already been investigated by E!, which announced earlier this month that it had found “insufficient evidence to substantiate” the claims.
Young weighed in on the matter on Monday, but also acknowledged that she was not familiar with the case.
“The world is changing quickly right now, and many of us have been affected by this issue: I spoke up because I feel deeply that the secrecy of shame plays a significant part in what has kept this shift from happening before now,” Young said in the statement. “But never has there been a more urgent time to make sure our voices are used for truth, and I failed in that regard Monday night. Our words matter. Our word matters.”
“I apologize to Ryan Seacrest. He has been exonerated from the allegations I was told about on the carpet, so my opinion is different now,” she continued. “I just want to clarify that anyone who uses my quote going forward is using the quote of an uninformed person and fanning the flames of a non-story by making use of an unwitting accomplice. I’ve learned that ‘I don’t know’ can be a complete answer. I will do better next time.”
Variety reported Monday that Hardy accused Seacrest of subjecting her “to years of unwanted sexual aggression” while she was his stylist from 2006-2013, including “grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear, groping her vagina, and at one point slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later.”
Seacrest’s lawyer said that it was “upsetting” that Variety chose to run Hardy’s story, saying that Hardy threatened to make the “false claims” if she did not receive $15 million. Hardy’s attorney told Variety that “neither he nor Hardy has asked Seacrest, E!, or the cable channel’s corporate parents for any money.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.