Read on: TheWrapTheWrap
Ryan Seacrest is set to host Sunday’s Oscars Red Carpet show for E! “as scheduled,” per a rep for the cable channel.
“E! Can confirm that Ryan will be hosting E!’s ‘Live from the Red Carpet’ for Oscars as scheduled,” a network spokesperson told TheWrap on Tuesday.
The popular TV and radio personality was accused of sexual harassment late last year by his former E! stylist Suzie Hardy. A network-sponsored investigation by outside counsel “found insufficient evidence to substantiate allegations” against the “American Idol” host, the NBCUniversal-owned cable channel said at the time.
“E! has now concluded the investigation into allegations regarding Ryan Seacrest,” an E! spokesperson said back on Feb. 1. “The investigation, conducted by outside counsel, found insufficient evidence to substantiate allegations against Seacrest. E! is committed to providing a safe working environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.”
And then they said more on Monday, when specifics from Hardy’s accusation hit the web.
“E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough,” a spokesperson said yesterday. “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.”
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 90th Academy Awards air live coast-to-coast Sunday on ABC, when they will again be hosted by last year’s emcee Jimmy Kimmel.