TV host Carter Oosterhouse accused of coerced oral sex by makeup artist

A woman who worked on HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse's popular show Carter Can alleges he coerced her into performing repeated acts of oral sex during production, an experience that she says eventually led to her becoming hospitalized for depression and losing her job.

Kailey Kaminsky, who was employed as Oosterhouse's makeup artist in 2008, tells The Hollywood Reporter that she acquiesced to his demands for oral sex when the carpenter turned reality TV star threatened her employment after months of incessant badgering. "At that point I was a nervous wreck," says Kaminsky. "I was so worn down from his advances, so I did: that day, on that occasion. It was the first time. Then thereafter it was most every time we would shoot — 10 to 15 times he put me in this position."

In a statement to THR, Oosterhouse, who declares the accusation "upsetting," acknowledges "an intimate relationship" with Kaminsky but contends that "it was 100 percent mutual." He adds that it was never "indicated to me in any way that Kailey was uncomfortable" during their time together, and "I would have never done anything that I was not sure was mutually agreeable. The reality is that I knew it was consensual because she initiated it the first time and many of the 15 or so times we had oral sex thereafter."

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HGTV host Carter Oosterhouse out and about
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HGTV host Carter Oosterhouse out and about
THE GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT - The holidays are about to get a whole lot brighter with ABCs immensely popular decorating competition series, The Great Christmas Light Fight, premiering MONDAY, DEC. 4 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST). (Byron Cohen/ABC via Getty Images) CARTER OOSTERHOUSE
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: TV personality Carter Oosterhouse (L) and wife actress Amy Smart pose at 'Dancing with the Stars' season 25 at CBS Televison City on November 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Carter Oosterhouse (L) and Amy Smart at the Environmental Media Association's 27th Annual EMA Awards at Barkar Hangar on September 23, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association)
CULVER CITY, CA - JUNE 15: Actor Amy Smart (L) and TV personality Carter Oosterhouse attend the screening of 'The Keeping Hours' during the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival at Arclight Cinemas Culver City on June 15, 2017 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
THE GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT - ABC's 'The Great Christmas Light Fight' stars Carter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: TV personality Carter Oosterhouse visits Hollywood Today Live at W Hollywood on September 12, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
THE GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT - 'Episode 403' - The battle of the lights continues with new episodes of ABC's hit holiday-decorating-competition series, 'The Great Christmas Light Fight,' MONDAY, DECEMBER 12 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST). (Eric Liebowitz/ABC via Getty Images) CARTER OOSTERHOUSE
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 10: Actors Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart attend Emily Ratajkowski's 25th Birthday celebration at the private residence of Absolut Elyx CEO Jonas Tahlin on June 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx)
BURBANK, CA - MAY 02: TV Personality Carter Oosterhouse attends the Backstage Creations Retreat At George Lopez's Celebrity Golf Classic held at Lakeside Golf Club on May 2, 2016 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
SUN VALLEY, ID - MARCH 04: Television personality Carter Oosterhouse poses during the 2016 Sun Valley Film Festival 'Coffee Talk with Amy Smart & Carter Oosterhouse' on March 4, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for SVFF)
CULVER CITY, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Amy Smart (L) and television personality Carter Oosterhouse attend the Art of Elysium 2016 HEAVEN Gala presented by Vivienne Westwood & Andreas Kronthaler at 3LABS on January 9, 2016 in Culver City, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Actress Amy Smart and TV personality Carter Oosterhouse attend the unveiling of the RH Modern Gallery in Los Angeles on November 4, 2015. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for RH)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 24: Carter Oosterhouse and Dawn Olivieri attend the 25th annual EMA Awards presented by Toyota and Lexus and hosted by the Environmental Media Association at Warner Bros. Studios on October 24, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 24: TV personality/producer Carter Oosterhouse (L) and actress Dawn Olivieri pose backstage during the 25th annual EMA Awards presented by Toyota and Lexus and hosted by the Environmental Media Association at Warner Bros. Studios on October 24, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Environmental Media Awards)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 04: Amy Smart (L) and Carter Oosterhouse arrive for the Heal The Bay Annual Benefit at The Jonathan Club on June 4, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: TV personality Carter Oosterhouse attends the 2014 A+E Networks Upfront at Park Avenue Armory on May 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 15: Actress Amy Smart and TV personality Carter Oosterhouse attend GQ & LeBron James NBA All Star Party sponsored by Samsung Galaxy and Beats at Ogden's Museum's Patrick F. Taylor Library on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for GQ)
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - MAY 18: Actors Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart attend the Communities In Schools Of Los Angeles Annual Gala on May 18, 2015 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Communities In Schools of Los Angeles)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart attend the The Art Of Elysium 8th Annual Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California.(Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
THE CHEW - Carter Oosterhouse is the guest Tuesday, June 24, 2014 on ABC's 'The Chew.' 'The Chew' airs MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse arrive at The Art of Elysium's 7th Annual HEAVEN Gala at the Guerin Pavilion at the Skirball Cultural Center on January 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Actor Carter Oosterhouse attends the HGTV Holiday House Kick-Off at Santa Monica Place with performance by Il Volo at Santa Monica Place on November 23, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage)

In a follow-up interview, Oosterhouse asserts he's never been intimate with any other crewmembers or executives on any production in his professional career aside from Kaminsky. He declined to comment when asked whether a sexual relationship could ever truly be consensual between the star of a TV show and a show staffer whose employment is dependent on remaining in the star's favor.

According to Kaminsky, then 34, the persistent requests for oral sex began a year into her employment on the show when Oosterhouse, then 32 and a home improvement TV star after gaining fame on TLC's Trading Spaces, propositioned her while the pair were running errands in a truck during a location shoot in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan. She repeatedly rebuffed him on the trip, she says, and his advances were even more surprising because she identifies as a lesbian.

Kailey Kaminsky

"He's like, 'You know what would be a good idea? If you went down on me,'" she recalls. "I was shocked — it was so random. I said, in my sarcastic way, 'Well, that's not sexual harassment at all.' He said, 'I just think it would be fun.' I made it clear that I did not think it would be fun. Still, I thought he was just goofing around." Kaminsky adds that her subsequent persistent refusals "didn't register. It was as if he had tunnel vision. He was determined to get a blow job."

After a short production hiatus, she contends the requests for oral sex continued back in Los Angeles, over time shifting from good-natured to pestering to, finally — while again in a vehicle together in early September — intimidating, at which point she describes herself as "capitulating." On the way to a project site, "he pulled off the road and said, 'Do you enjoy your job?' I said I did and in fact would like to work more, handling more of his personal appearances outside the show. He said, 'Well, I can help you with that. But you need to do something for me.'"

Kaminsky says she interpreted the conversation as imperiling her professional relationship with him, which at that point defined her career and livelihood. By her account, she thereafter dutifully submitted to his requests on between 10 and 15 occasions. They typically took the form of nonverbal cues ("It was eye contact; he would look at me and look down") while they were alone together in Oosterhouse's changing and makeup areas in the midst of episode shoots, often as he changed attire for the home "reveal." She asserts that there was no reciprocal physical intimacy and that she felt further degraded because, "when he would assault me, he insisted on finishing on my face — every time — knowing that I had to go back out and work. I asked him about that. He said, 'It's just what I wanted to do.'"

By late October 2008, Kaminsky says her anxiety over the situation prompted a weeklong absence from Carter Can. "I developed this stomach ulcer, something I'd never had before, and was hospitalized for a week," she says. "I kept beating myself up psychologically — that I was nothing but a prostitute. And the longer this went on, the less he would allow me to do my job. If I wanted to step in and touch up his hair and powder, he would push me away."

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HGTV stars before they were famous

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Kaminsky claims Carter Can director Patrick Jager, who was unaware of the situation, cited her absence when he told her at the end of the year that she'd be replaced for the next season. (Jager, noting it's been nearly a decade, says he doesn't recall the reason her contract wasn't renewed.)

Kaminsky says she confided in two female producers who worked on Carter Can during production and that they expressed concern but that, at the time, "I was trying to find a narrative to make myself feel better. I told myself that this is giving me power. I definitely went out of my way to pretend it was something that I was participating in willfully. I was like, 'It's fine, whatever.' I was trying not to cry." She adds, "It was Stockholm Syndrome-y, justifying-what-you're-doing."

(Reached by THR, one of the female producers, who requested anonymity, remembers Kaminsky's confession that evening. It was framed to her as a consensual relationship. "It didn't raise any flags, so I don't think we suggested an intervention," she says. "It didn't seem like it was abusive.")

After Carter Can, Kaminsky left Los Angeles, explaining that she descended into a depression that would eventually require in-patient treatment. "I was basically nonfunctioning, unable to hold a job," she says. "I had no self-esteem. I just spiraled further and further down."

Tim O'Grady, the man who Kaminsky would briefly marry, confirmed that he was told about the Oosterhouse incidents. A friend, Shelley Wunder-Smith, confirmed that Kaminsky shared her account with them in the years that followed the end of her tenure on Carter Can.

Kaminsky's mother, Sara Levy, had flown to Los Angeles to visit her daughter in the hospital. At the time, she was left in the dark. "I was afraid to tell my mom because she had worked in the industry and she had said to me, 'Make yourself indispensable, no matter what,'" says Kaminsky. "Still, she knew something was very, very wrong."

Levy later learned the source of what she characterizes as "Kailey's nightmare," explaining, "My husband and I had to live through the repercussions of it." Levy adds, "I saw my daughter crushed and crumbled. She was humiliated and demoralized."

A year after she left Carter Can, Kaminsky says she contacted Sonny Hutchison, an official at its production company High Noon, about the situation. (High Noon was also behind Oosterhouse's Red Hot & Green, airing on HGTV as well at the time.) By her account, Hutchinson told her that since she was an independent contractor and nobody he spoke to would corroborate her story, High Noon would not further address the matter. (Hutchison didn't respond to a request for comment.)

After she informed Hutchison of her allegations, Kaminsky claims Oosterhouse called her and apologized, stating, "'I'm so sorry. I thought it was mutual.'" She says he "seemed surprised to hear that what he did was assault" and asked how he might make amends. Kaminsky suggested helping her get her career back on track "because I couldn't get work. He said he would do whatever he could to help me out. But I never heard anything from him again."

High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing dozens of women, including a number of well-known celebrities, over the past several decades.

(REUTERS/Gus Ruelas)

Matt Lauer was fired from 'Today' after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct that allegedly included giving a co-worker a sex toy and dropping his pants in front of a female employee in his office.

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Actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual assault by two women from the Amazon series, "Transparent."  

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Eleven women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

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 CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves resigned from the company, the company said on Sunday, amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

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Sen. Al Franken is accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

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Director Woody Allen has been accused of sexual assault by his daughter, Dylan Farrow. She says she experienced inappropriate behavior by her adoptive father on several occasions.

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Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of forcing women to watch him masturbate, according to the New York Times.

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Director Bret Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

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Actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 years old.

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Roger Ailes, the former president of Fox News Channel, was accused of sexually harassing former anchor Gretchen Carlson and several other women from the network.

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Several women accused TV host Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, including groping and lewd phone calls.

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Bill Cosby has faced sexual assault allegations from about 60 women, including several women who claim he drugged them.

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Four women, including several that were also fellow Scientologists, have accused actor Danny Masterson of sexual assault, according to HuffPost.

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Mark Schwahn, the former "One Tree Hill" showrunner, was accused of sexual harassment by a large number of the show's cast and crew.

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Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

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Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

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Actor Casey Affleck settled lawsuits out of court wth two women who accused him of sexual harassment.  

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Bill O'Reilly has reportedly made numerous settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment.

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Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic congressman was sentenced to 21 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting a teenage girl.


Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing women while he worked at ABC News.

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Singer R. Kelly is accused of holding women against their will in houses in Illinois and Georgia in a reported 'sex cult.'

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Former Fox Host Eric Bolling was accused of sending unsolicited lewd text messages to female colleagues.

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Director Roman Polanski fled the US after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Several other women have also come forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

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Chef John Besh stepped down from the company he founded after female employees reported facing sexual harassment there. 

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Photographer Terry Richardson was labeled the 'Harvey Weinstein of Fashion' by the Sunday Times amid widespread accusations of sexual harassment by models.

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Singer Kesha accused Lukasz Gottwald aka Dr. Luke of drugging and sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.

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Former champion boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a Miss Black America contestant in 1992. 

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Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by dozens of his former patients and athletes.


Music mogul L.A. Reid left his position as Epic Records CEO/Chairman in 2017 amid harassment claims by a female assistant.

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Amazon Studios chief Roy Price resigned following reports that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress' allegation of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein.

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Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

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Chris Savino (right), creator of  'The Loud House' was suspended by Nickelodeon after being accused of making unwanted advances toward multiple women.

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Actor Steven Seagal was accused of sexual misconduct by Inside Edition's chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero.

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Dustin Hoffman was accused of sexually harassing a production assistant when he was 48 and she was a high school senior.

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Jeremy Piven was accused by actress Ariane Bellamar of groping her on two separate occasions. Piven 'unequivocally' denied the allegations.

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Ben Affleck apologized for acting 'inappropriately' towards Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live" in 2003.

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Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman he went on a date with.

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Andy Dick was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct on set, including groping people’s genitals, unwanted kissing/licking and sexual propositions.

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Rep. Ruben Kihuen, (D) Nevada, was accused of making repeated, unwanted propositions for dates and sex to a woman that once worked on his campaign.

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Actor Ed Westwick was accused by actress Kristina Cohen of raping her in his home.

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David Guillod, producer of 'Atomic Blonde,' is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several woman.

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Andrew Kreisberg, the showrunner for "Supergirl," was suspended in November 2017 amid numerous sexual harassment allegations by members of his staff.

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Actor Tom Sizemore was reportedly told to leave a film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals.

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Steve Jurvetson left his own venture capital firm after allegations of sexual harassment

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A former model accused George Takei of sexually assaulting him 36 years ago.

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Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulted her at an award ceremony in 2013.

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A former writer for 'Mad Men' said the show's creator Matthew Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked.

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Ron Jeremy has been accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women and the allegations span more than 30 years.

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Multiple women accused producer Adam Fields of touching them inappropriately and sexually propositioning them.

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Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

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John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, was accused of crossing the line with employees, including unwanted hugs.

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Singer Nick Carter was accused of rape by a former member of the all-girl teen band Dream, Melissa Schuman.

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A singer accused billionaire Richard Branson of sexual assault during an event as his Necker Island in the Caribbean. Branson says he has no recollection of the matter.

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Talent agent Adam Venit is accused of grabbing actor Terry Crews' genitals.

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Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez), Marilyn Manson former longtime bassist, was accused of rape by singer Jessicka Addams.

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Lockhart Steele, Vox Media's editorial director was fired after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment.

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Producer Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein's brother, has also been accused of sexual harassment. 

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Jesse Lacey of  the band, Brand New, was accused of sexual misconduct, including soliciting nude photos from a teen girl in the past.

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Senior Correspondent for E! News Ken Baker California was accused of sexual harassment by two women.

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American film director Oliver Stone was accused of groping model and actress Carrie Stevens in the 1990s.

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Harold Ford, Jr.

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PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley's show was suspended amid misconduct allegations made against him.

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Sen. Jeff Klein (D-New York), was accused of forcibly kissing a former female staffer back in 2015. 

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Ross Levinsohn, Los Angeles Times CEO and publisher, has reportedly been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and would rate the "hotness" of his female colleagues, according to a report by NPR.

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A woman accused magician David Copperfield of drugging, sexually assaulting her when she was teen model in the 80s, according to The Wrap.

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James Franco was accused by several women of sexually inappropriate behavior. He was also criticized for wearing a "Time's Up" pin to the Golden Globes hours before the accusations against him surfaced.

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Arizona Wildcats head football coach Rich Rodriguez was fired amid troubling off-field allegations. His former administrative assistant says Rodriguez inappropriately grabbed and touched her. 

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Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of peple. The Wall Street Journal the casino mogul regularly pressured employees to perform sex acts.

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Paris Dennard, GOP commentator

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Ryan Adams performs at the Marriott Rewards and Universal Music Present Music is Universal during the South by Southwest Music Festival at JW Marriott Austin on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP)

In his interview with THR, Oosterhouse, now 41, recalls the conversation differently. "I did say I thought it was mutual — because it was," he says. "I didn't apologize because I never did anything wrong. That's the God's honest truth. I felt bad that she was, in that moment, not-super-positive."

Given Oosterhouse's celebrity, Kaminsky would see him again, which she says prompted dark memories of 2008 to return. In 2011, she was at a grocery store and saw Oosterhouse on the cover of Us Weekly when he wed actress Amy Smart. (The pair have an 11-month-old daughter.) "I went back to the house with the woman I was dating and I broke down in a way that I never have," she says. Last year, she turned on TV after work and saw him hosting ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight. "I melted down yet again," she says. (The show returned for its fifth season on Dec. 4.)

More recently, the post-Weinstein news cycle has been painful, she says: "I read these stories and there's PTSD: Why wasn't I strong enough to protect myself?" Still, the #MeToo movement inspired her to come forward. "I'm not looking to be litigious or for money," she says. "I just want to set the record straight about what happened to me."

Since 2008, Oosterhouse has hosted several other shows (including HGTV's Celebrity Motor Homes and FYI's Rowhouse Showdown) while frequently making appearances as a home improvement expert on programs like Today, Rachael Ray and The View. The visibility has brought interest in modeling for major brands (Nivea, Hewlett Packard) and served as a vehicle for him to establish his charitable foundation, Carter's Kids, which builds community playgrounds.

Kaminsky, meanwhile, is no longer a professional makeup artist. "He took away the joy that I got from doing makeup," she says. "I just had no confidence."

Carter Oosterhouse's full statement:

First off, let me say that I am very passionate about what is a happening right now with the #metoo movement, especially because I have so many strong woman in my life, like my wife, mother, sister and of course my little baby girl. We are in a time of change for society and I am behind it 100%.

I had an intimate relationship with Kailey 9 years ago and it was 100% mutual and consensual. In no way did I ever feel, nor was it ever indicated to me, that Kailey was uncomfortable during our intimate relationship. I would have never done anything that I was not sure was mutually agreeable.

The reality is that I knew it was consensual because she initiated it the first time and many of the 15 or so times we had relations thereafter. We were together outside of work and I considered her a friend.

I want to address a couple of the things she said. First, I didn't have anything to do with her not being invited back to the show — that was a producer decision.

And as for the fact that she identifies as a lesbian — I didn't know that — all I knew was that she was in a sexual relationship with another guy who worked on the show.

It's upsetting that she now feels this way, I only wish her the best and truly hope that she can move forward.


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