Ryan Seacrest will continue to host E!’s Academy Awards preshow Sunday as planned, E! said Wednesday, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations both Seacrest and the network call unsubstantiated.
“E! can confirm that Ryan will be hosting E!’s ‘Live from the Red Carpet’ for Oscars as scheduled,” a spokesman told Newsday in an email.
Meanwhile, actress Bellamy Young has apologized for suggesting Seacrest step down as host. “I have an apology to make,” Young, 48, who plays President Mellie Grant on “Scandal,” told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. Explaining she had been asked about the allegations Monday at the premiere of “A Wrinkle in Time,” in which she appears, Young said, “I spoke on record about something I had no firsthand knowledge of. … Never has there been a more urgent time to make sure our voices are used for truth, and I failed in that regard.”
She went on to say, “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. 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.”
On Monday, Variety gave new details on allegations first put forth in November by Suzie Hardy, Seacrest’s stylist at E! from 2006 to 2013. She described years of unwanted sexual attention such as groping, grinding up against her and hugging her while in his underwear.
When the allegations first arose, Seacrest, 43, said in a statement, “If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result.” On Feb. 1, E! announced that its investigation “found insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest and therefore could not be substantiated.”
On Wednesday, a former co-worker of Hardy’s supported the stylist’s allegations, anonymously telling Kate Snow on NBC’s “Today” via telephone that Hardy “would go to tie his shoe and Ryan would shove her head toward his crotch.” He added, “I saw that more than once.” NBC News withheld the man’s name because he feared industry retaliation.
Seacrest in a statement late Tuesday said, in part, “Variety published a salacious story that revealed the specific claims against me for the first time — even though an independent third-party investigator found insufficient evidence to support the claims.” While he added that, “Variety didn’t speak with me … or even ask for any of the evidence that was obtained during the investigation,” the trade magazine responded that it had “spent an hour on the phone prior to publication with Seacrest’s representatives (his publicist and his lawyer), who refused to provide any such evidence, citing legal restrictions.”