The second awards show season of the Time's Up era is upon us, and while most men who've recently faced sexual misconduct allegations are absent from the festivities this year, there remains one notable exception. People were furious over Ryan Seacrest wearing a Time's Up bracelet on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, and given the serious allegations of abuse and harassment that were brought against him in 2017 by his stylist Suzie Hardy, it's easy to see why. Seacrest's legal team did not immediately respond to Romper’s request for comment. E! told Romper, "This is old news from nearly a year ago. It’s business as usual for all of us."
On Nov. 10, 2017, Hardy's attorneys presented E! with a letter detailing the stylist's experiences working with Seacrest. The letter requested that the cable network "come up with a plan to address the treatment of all women at the networks and to take responsibility for the wrongful treatment" of Hardy, according to Variety. Her attorneys additionally threatened "more formal action" if the requests weren't addressed. A week later, Seacrest made a public statement announcing he had been accused of sexual misconduct by a former employee, effectively outing Hardy to those at the network who knew their history. Seacrest denied the allegations at the time, calling them "reckless," and E! issued a statement three months later saying that an internal investigation had found "insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest."
After the investigation concluded, Hardy did an in-depth interview with Variety, outlining her allegations publicly for the first time. According to the letter written by her attorneys: "Seacrest subjected Hardy to years of unwanted sexual aggression — 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." She also claimed that he gave her excessive gifts, like a $1000 spa gift certificate, and estimated that the host hugged her while wearing only underwear upwards of ten times.
The more skin-crawling allegations include that Seacrest once came up behind her, reached his hand through her legs, and cupped her crotch, and that he would repeatedly push her head towards his crotch when she was knelt down to tie his shoes. Hardy told Variety:
I didn’t know how to deal with it. I really didn’t. I was battling finally being in a decent financial position to breathe and be a mom, that I didn’t have to be freaking out all the time, and then dealing with this infantile celebrity person who was testing me on every level and manipulating me and knew that I was in a vulnerable position.
Given the painful details of Hardy's story, and Seacrest's continued denials, it was understandable that viewers were frustrated with his continued place of prominence at the network, let alone the image of him wearing a Time's Up bracelet.
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