Tags: kelly ripa | ryan seacrest | defends | on air

Kelly Ripa Defends Ryan Seacrest Amid Calls for Him to Step Down From Oscars Gig

Kelly Ripa Defends Ryan Seacrest Amid Calls for Him to Step Down From Oscars Gig

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest during an episode of the syndicated program, "Live with Kelly and Ryan," in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Monday, June 5, 2017. (Aaron Lynett/The Canadian Press via AP)

By    |   Friday, 02 March 2018 10:00 AM

Kelly Ripa defended Ryan Seacrest on-air Thursday amid calls for him to step down from covering the Oscars red carpet on Sunday following the resurfacing of sexual harassment allegations.

During an appearance on their “Live with Kelly and Ryan” show, Ripa told co-host Seacrest that she could not wait to see him at the Oscars.

“I am very excited,” she said, according to Fox News. “And I just want you to know, you are a privilege to work with and I adore you. I know what a professional, great person you are, and I feel very, very blessed to work with you each and every day.”

Seacrest is slated, as usual, to spearhead the E! Network's Academy Awards red carpet coverage on Sunday, but some have called on him to step down from his hosting duties after Variety this week published more information from his accuser, former wardrobe stylist Suzie Hardy.

The report detailed a November letter sent by an attorney for Hardy to the E! network, its corporate parent NBCUniversal, and Seacrest detailing her claims against the host, whom she worked with between 2007 to 2013.

The letter detailed her harassment allegations, including what she says were multiple incidents of harassment and assault, and asked Seacrest and E! to "come up with a plan to address the treatment of all women at the networks and to take responsibility for the wrongful treatment," according to the copy obtained by Variety. It also threatened more formal action if her request was ignored.

"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," Hardy told Variety of the alleged abuse.

Seacrest has denied the accusations and has said that Hardy tried to extort money from him in exchange for not going public with her accusations, according to Fox News. An E! investigation also cleared him of any misconduct.

"This person who has accused me of horrible things tried to buy her silence by asking for money on multiple occasions — I refused," Seacrest said in a statement this week. "I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don’t take my opportunities for granted. I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest."

Despite some reports, Ripa and Seacrest are said to be close friends and the two are reportedly “very protective of each other,” a source told the New York Post's Page Six this week.

“They’ve known each other for years and talk about everything . . . it’s been a tough week.”

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Kelly Ripa defended Ryan Seacrest on-air Thursday amid calls for him to step down from covering the Oscars red carpet on Sunday following the resurfacing of sexual harassment allegations.
kelly ripa, ryan seacrest, defends, on air
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2018-00-02
Friday, 02 March 2018 10:00 AM
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