Chris Hardwick has broken his silence.
The podcast and television host is at the center of a very serious scandal this week after an ex-girlfriend named Chloe Dystrka wrote a troubling and personal essay about her relationship with Hardwick.
In this esay, Dykstra details how an unnamed former boyfriend (strongly presumed to be Hardwick) forced her to have sex against her will and treated her with absolute disdain.
The 29-year old brings up this ex-boyfriend’s “controlling behavior" and how "rules were quickly established" shortly after the two started dating, including how she could not be friends with men and could not drink alcohol.
“I was not to speak in public places (elevators, cars with drivers, restaurants where tables were too close) as he believed that people recognized him and were listening to our conversations,” she said.
Dykstra added she was “terrified to piss him off, so I did what he said. Including let him sexually assault me. Regularly," explaining:
"I was expected to be ready for him when he came home from work. Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears. He called it ‘starfishing.’ He thought the whole idea was funny."
Everyone who has read this account, conversely, finds it horrifying.
In response to the accusations, Nerdist, a content company founded by Hardwick, confirmed on Friday that it had severed ties with Hardwick.
It also made it clear that Hardwick has not been active with the company for years.
Dykstra even emphasized this same point in a Tweet late Friday, writing:
Before I take my break, I do want to address something re: the company he founded. As I understand it, the person has not been associated with that company for several years, and I hope that they will not suffer as a result of my essay.
Be kind to them, they are good people.
Now, at last, Hardwick has spoken out about these disturbing allegations.
"I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post," he said to open a statement to Deadline, adding:
"Our three year relationship was not perfect – we were ultimately not a good match and argues – even shouted at each other – but I loved her and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her."
Dykstra did add the following in her confession:
“To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him. I’m still recovering from being sexually used (not in a super fun way) for three years.”
So we’re not about to speculate about what actually transpired between these two, except to say that Hardwick could be trying to walk a fine line and deny the specific allegation of assault, considering (in his mind and sort of by her own admission), Dykstra did not fight back.
"These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond," Hardwick continued, expounding as follows:
"When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship.
"For several weeks after we broke up, she asked to get back together with me and even told me she wanted to have kids with me, ‘build a life’ with me and told me that I was ‘the one,’ but I did not want to be with someone who was unfaithful.
"I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur. l was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her.
"As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women."
(Above, Dykstra poses with Hardwick in 2013; below, she poses on a red carpet alone.)
Dykstra also claims that Hardwick trash talked her following their split, effectively ending her career in Hollywood.
Following the release of Hardwick’s statement, actor Robert Kazinsky took to Twitter to defend Dykstra.
“As @hardwick has chosen to deny Chloe’s account, I’ll take the opportunity to say I have seen the proof myself, I have seen the evidence first hand, I’ve seen the people who have come forward to tell @skydart how Chris ordered her blacklisted, there isn’t just one, there are many.
"For years the pain @skydart carried around was overwhelming, and even now @hardwick doesn’t have the decency to offer first an apology to the woman he destroyed intentionally.
"That’s all that mattered.”
Dykstra also said in her extended message that she contemplated suicide “many times," but is now a much healthier and happier place.
“To the man who tried to ruin my future: A sincere and heartfelt apology could have made my last four years a hell of a lot easier.”