OPINION: Lessons on #MeToo from the strange case of Ryan Seacrest

The Washington Examiner

February 27, 2018

By Emily Jashinsky

Roughly one month after the start of the #MeToo movement last fall, an unspecified allegation of sexual harassment surfaced against Ryan Seacrest, leveled by a former personal stylist. In publicly announcing the allegations, Seacrest denied any misconduct, referring to her complaint as “reckless,” but pledged to cooperate with an investigation.

On February 1, E! News announced the end of its outside counsel’s investigation into Seacrest. The Associated Press reported the network’s inquiry found “insufficient evidence” to support the accuser’s claims. Four days later, Seacrest published an op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter headlined, “What Happened After I Was Wrongly Accused of Harassment,” calling the ordeal “gut-wrenching.”

But then on Monday, Variety published a detailed report about the allegations based on interviews with Seacrest’s accuser, Suzie Hardy, who claims the popular television host harassed her from 2007 to 2013. Hardy’s allegations are specific, often tied to dates and events, and corroborated in some cases by others with knowledge of their working relationship.

Hardy, who was interviewed thrice by E!’s investigators, believes the probe was rigged, saying, “I felt like by the third interview, it was obvious the investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest’s side.” She also claims four witnesses who would corroborate the claims were not interviewed and disputes asking for any money.

This story is strange, but instructive.

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