Back in November, the world learned that Ryan Seacrest had been accused of sexual assault. The details of the allegations were alarming.
Initially, people mostly just heard that the accusation had been made by a former stylist. Now, the world knows her name.
And she's opening up about her very own #MeToo story.
Suzie Hardy was Ryan Seacrest's stylist at E! from 2007 to 2013.
She was a single mother with a preschool-aged daughter who found the idea of a decent-paying job a "godsend." At first.
Hardy alleges that, during her years of employment, Ryan Seacrest subjected her to undesired sexually aggressive behavior.
Among the accusations is that he struck her butt with enough force that it left a mark hours later, that he grabbed her genitals on multiple occasions, and that he pressed himself against her while in his underwear.
E! claims that their investigation found insufficient evidence of all of this.
In a social media video, Kim Zolciak joked about sexual harassment and lamented "poor Ryan Seacrest." He has a lot of fans and sympathizers.
But now, Hardy is telling her story.
Speaking to Variety, Suzie Hardy discusses her allegations against Ryan Seacrest.
"As proud as I am and as strong as a woman as I am, as smart as I am and as much work as I’ve done with therapists, it really affected me."
She opens up about what she thought of E!'s investigation deciding that there was insufficient evidence.
"Total exasperation was my definite feeling when I heard about it."
But it doesn't sound like she was surprised.
"I felt like by the third interview, it was obvious the investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest’s side."
And she claims that the investigator never contacted four witnesses whose names she provided.
E! objects to the characterization of their investigation as being one-sided.
"E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough."
E!'s statement continues:
"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 they maintain that the investigator is reliable.
"The investigator is an attorney with nearly 20 years experience and is highly regarded professionally."
Therefore, they say, the investigation went just fine.
"Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless."
Andrew Baum, the attorney representing Ryan Seacrest, says:
"It is upsetting to us that Variety is electing to run a ‘story’ about untrue allegations that were made against my client, after they were told that the accuser threatened to make those false claims against him unless he paid her $15 million."
Claims that accusations come from extortion attempts haven't been uncommon during the #MeToo movement. Or before.
"At that time, the claimant threatened to issue a demonstrably false press statement unless she was paid."
"Instead, my client proactively and publicly denied the claims and agreed to fully cooperate with E!’s investigation about the matter."
Seacrest's attorney seems to agree with E!'s findings.
"On January 31st the network notified us that their independent third-party investigation had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support her claims, effectively, clearing my client’s name."
Well ... insufficient evidence can lead to an acquittal at trial, but it doesn't sound like a resounding exoneration, either.
"It’s telling that after my client refused to pay her money, and the E! investigation resulted as it did, that she is now coming forward to share her debunked story to the press."
There are further details to Hardy's accusations.
In separate accounts, both Hardy and a coworker witness accuse Seacrest of another misdeed while Hardy was at the Roosevelt Hotel to help him prepare for the Academy Awards.
Both describe Seacrest as having been in his underwear with a visible erection. He allegedly grabbed Hardy, threw her onto the bed, and climbed on top of her and rubbed himself upon her.
According the the accusation, he stopped only when Hardy's coworker yelled at him.
What Hardy describes as the worst incident was whens he was dating a powerful entertainment attorney. When the two had only just begun to date (and they ended up dating for three years), she says that Ryan Seacrest asked inappropriate questions about their sex life as she tied his tie.
She says that when she asked him to stop asking if she had "f--ked" the man yet, Seacrest allegedly grabbed her genitals.
Hardy says that she fled the room in tears, and that a production assistant approached her minutes later with an offer.
Apparently, the PA was willing to walk her to human resources, but also cautioned her that she'd likely be fired if she reported anything.
Hardy, still a mother to a young daughter, declined.
Ultimately, Suzie Hardy says that she was called in by E! to answer questions. They wanted to know if she had a physical relationship with Ryan Seacrest.
She says that she told them no -- they weren't dating or sleeping together. She says that she also told them about her allegations, and that she spent hours there at the time.
This was in 2013. She says that she was told a couple of weeks later that her services would soon no longer be required. She says that she and Seacrest were kept apart until for her remaining few weeks.
Many find this whole story disturbing.