Things seem to be getting increasingly awkward for Ryan Seacrest. The sexual misconduct allegations his ex-stylist Suzie Hardy shared about him in a graphic story in Variety Monday, were supported on The Today Show by another former colleague on Wednesday.
"She would go to tie his shoe and Ryan would shove her head toward his crotch," the former co-worker told Kate Snow by phone. "I saw that more than once," he added. NBC is withholding the co-worker’s name to protect him from his fear of professional retaliation.
- He also reportedly witnessed Seacrest holding her in a bear hug at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 2008 as he got ready for an Oscars red carpet special.
- "She yelled get off of me," the former co-worker said. "She was trying to get away from him."
- He added that "I could see an erect penis in his underwear.
- E! and ABC have stood by Seacrest, who denies the allegations. E! plans to keep Seacrest on as host of the Oscars red carpet Sunday, a controversial decision since the red carpet is increasingly being used as a vehicle for empowerment in the #MeToo movement.
- Page Six reports that publicists plan to steer their clients away from him.
- Seacrest defended himself in a statement, saying in part, "This person who has accused me of horrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused."
- Meanwhile, on Live Wednesday, Seacrest had an uncomfortable exchange with co-host Kelly Ripa.
- After their discussion about a “treadmill day” for the show, she asked him: “What is going on? Something pretty major is happening … Do you want me to put your shoes back on for you? I’m a mom, I can do that.” (It seemed to be a reference to the charge involving his stylist tying his shoelaces for him and Seacrest pushing her head into his crotch).
- In reply, he stammered: “You don’t mind, do you?” He then put his shoes on himself.