You might know Chris Hardwick from the Walking Dead after-show, Talking Dead, or as host of the now-canceled Comedy Central series @Midnight, or simply as an ever-present figure in the corner of the media landscape most closely associated with "nerd culture."
But Hardwick is trending on Twitter today not because of his work, but because of shocking allegations of abuse from a former girlfriend.
The popular host and creator of Nerdist Industries dated actress Chloe Dykstra for three years, and today, she published a Medium article detailing abuse she suffered at the hands of a man that many believe to be Hardwick.
Dykstra never mentions Hardwick by name, but details about the nature of their relationship and his career make it clear who she’s accusing.
The 29-year-old says that several years ago she began a relationship with a man who was nearly 20 years her senior, and who
“I was expected to be [sexually] ready for him when he came home from work. Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears,” she writes.
“He thought the whole idea was funny. To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him."
Dykstra goes on to claim that the abuse began just weeks into her relationship with Hardwick and left indelible scars on her psyche.
"I’m still recovering from being sexually used (not in a super fun way) for three years," she says.
Dykstra claims that Hardwick manipulated and intimidated her in such way as to ensure she would continue to comply with his sexual demands.
“’I just want to remind you, the reason my last relationship didn’t work out was because of the lack of sex,’” she recalls him saying.
Dykstra says that even with the progress yielded by the #MeToo movement in recent months, she still expects to be interrogated and harassed on social media.
And sadly, if GamerGate and other recent examples of toxic nerd culture run amok are any indication, she’s not wrong in that assumption:
“It will probably hurt me now too, despite the #MeToo movement. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a ways to go," Dykstra writes.
Earlier today, Dykstra tweeted a message of gratitude for those who offered support online, writing:
“I quietly posted an article today, unlisted on Medium. It clearly made the rounds. I’m overwhelmed and I want to thank all of you for your support and kind words- they mean so much to me.”
Hardwick married Lydia Hearst in 2016.
He has yet to respond to Dykstra’s allegations.