As more and more allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct emerge in Hollywood, Ryan Seacrest today took the preemptive move of denying acting badly before an accusation went public.
“Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her,” said the past and future American Idol host Friday. “If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry.”
E! is investigating the allegations internally, the outlet says.
The anonymous accuser wanted a “substantial amount of money to keep quiet,” a source close to the situation tells Deadline. Wary of the implications of guilt baked into acquiescing to such a financial demand, Seacrest refused and decided to go public, we hear.
“I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result,” the Live With Kelly and Ryan co-host went on to say in his statement. “I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. 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 concluded. Seacrest hosted E! News from 2006-2012.
Seacrest’s response lands just less than five months before the ABC version of Idol is set to debut March 11. That’s one week after the Oscars airs on the Disney network, an Academy Awards that will see a number of the usual suspects absent.