Kelly Ripa takes jab at Ryan Seacrest amid sexual harassment allegations
Kelly Ripa took a jab at co-host Ryan Seacrest during Wednesday's episode of "Live With Kelly and Ryan" amid allegations from a former stylist that Seacrest sexually harassed her.
While discussing how Seacrest was wearing shoes that were too small for him, Ripa asked Seacrest a question that may have alluded to a detail in the stylist's account of Seacrest's alleged harassment.
"Sweetie, do you want me to put your shoes back on for you?" she asked him.
"You don't mind, do you?" Seacrest responded.
"I'm a mom!" she retorted. "I can do that!"
Speaking to Variety, a former co-worker of Seacrest's accuser -- former stylist Suzie Hardy -- claimed that "he saw Seacrest multiple times push Hardy’s head into his crotch while she was tying his shoes." Ripa's comment may have been in reference to this claim.
Other than the potential dig on Wednesday, Ripa and Seacrest have not addressed the allegations against him on air.
See photos of Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest together:
Months after Seacrest denied initial reports that a former colleague of his had accused him of sexual harassment, Variety published a story in which the stylist was revealed to be Hardy. In the exclusive report, she alleged that she was subjected to unwanted sexual advances from Seacrest through the years that included the "American Idol" host groping her vagina, hugging her from behind with an erect penis and slapping her on the butt.
Variety's report also came after E! had closed its investigation into the allegations against Seacrest, finding "insufficient evidence to support the claims."
Seacrest responded to the alleged new details by calling the report a "salacious story" and reminding readers that the claims had already been debunked by the third-party investigation.
"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. "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."
Both ABC and E! have stuck behind Seacrest amid the growing controversy, and he's still scheduled to host "E! Live from the Red Carpet" at the 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, though a Page Six report alleges that some high-power publicists may steer their clients away from him on the live broadcast.
See photos of Ryan Seacrest's accuser, Suzie Hardy:
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