Stars Will Reportedly Avoid Ryan Seacrest on the Oscars Red Carpet
Ryan Seacrest may be facing a rough night at Sunday's Academy Awards.
According to a report from Page Six, publicists have advised their clients to steer clear of the longtime host, who's set to lead the E! network's red carpet preshow despite sexual harassment allegations. “Usually Ryan is the one you want . . . but there are so many outlets on that carpet, why risk it? There’s plenty of other places for clients to get the exposure," an undisclosed source told the outlet.
News of the accusations first emerged in November, when Seacrest released a preemptive statement denying "reckless" claims brought against him by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy. In an interview with Variety, she alleged that Seacrest subjected her to varying degrees of groping and misconduct while working with him at E! from 2007 to 2013.
Seacrest has repeatedly denied her claims, telling The Hollywood Reporter at the time, "I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices.” He also claimed Hardy offered on “multiple occasions” to “withdraw her claims if [he] paid her millions of dollars, which Hardy’s attorney, Howard King, refuted to Variety.
In response to the allegations, E! launched an investigation conducted by outside counsel, concluding earlier this month that there was "insufficient evidence" to support Hardy's claims. The network confirmed on Tuesday (February 27) that Seacrest will still host their Oscars red carpet preshow.
"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," their statement to CNN read. "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."
Seacrest will also continue his work on both ABC’s daytime talk show Live With Kelly & Ryan and the network’s American Idol reboot, which begins filming later this week and premieres March 11. The 2018 Academy Awards air Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET.
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