US TV presenter Ryan Seacrest is a staple of awards season, hosting the E! network’s coverage and interviewing A-list celebrities on the red carpet. After sexual abuse allegations against the 43-year-old emerged recently, there was speculation he wouldn’t feature on the red carpet for the 2018 Oscars.
It was announced this week, however, that Ryan would stay at the helm of the show as scheduled, after a ‘comprehensive and thorough’ investigation. The allegations in question came from a former E! News wardrobe stylist who reported to Variety that Ryan had behaved sexually aggressively towards her for years, something that he has denied.
‘Much has been said about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement(s) and the importance of providing women and men with the opportunity to share their stories of workplace misconduct, in an effort to change our culture and the systemic inequalities that exist,’ Ryan announced in a previous statement. ‘I absolutely support this cause unequivocally and applaud all the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories.’
He continued: ‘Sadly, last fall I became one of the accused, which I promptly revealed proactively to the network involved and to the public. And to be equally clear, those accusations were then investigated by an independent third-party over the course of a two-month process and involved dozens of interviews that included me, the accused and countless others. Ultimately, my name was cleared. I eagerly participated in the investigation in order to demonstrate my innocence because I know my truth, and I believe in due process.’
‘E!’s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough,’ the network announced in a recent statement. ‘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 all firsthand witnesses that she provided. The investigator is an attorney with nearly 20 years’ experience and is highly regarded professionally. Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless.’
Announcing Ryan Seacrest’s return to his 2018 Oscars hosting duties, the network also confirmed to The Cut on the same day that the red carpet pre-show would go ahead as planned on Sunday.
‘I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth,’ Ryan announced, addressing the accusations, reports The Wrap. ‘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.’