Last week, actress and TV personality Chloe Dykstra accused an ex of emotional and sexual abuse in a first-person essay. Although she did not name her alleged abuser, she said he was 20 years older than her and sober, which led fans to identify him as Hardwick.
“This is not a statement in defense, this is a statement of defense,” Hearst tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. “Defense for all the women who have been sexually abused, raped, trafficked, and tortured; defense of all the people who this movement was started for. Over the last year the #MeToo movement has rightly aimed a spotlight directly on women whose stories needed to be told. As someone who has been involved in toxic relationships in the past, I know first hand the importance of sharing these stories and do not take this situation lightly. ”
“I have made the decision to come out in support of my husband not out of obligation, but out of necessity to speak the truth about the person I know. Chris is nothing but loving and compassionate and is the only person who has stood by me, never judged me, helped me heal, and feel whole. To defend my husband would be giving credence to any of these accusations. I will not do that. Chris Hardwick is a good man,” she adds. “I remain in complete support of my husband, and I believe that the truth will always win. #TimesUp because I know my truth and I believe in due process.”
Hearst, 33, and Hardwick, 46, got married in 2016.
Since Dykstra went public, AMC pulled Hardwick’s show Talking with Chris Hardwick, and he was fired from moderating two panels at San Diego’s Comic-Con in July.
RELATED VIDEO: Chris Hardwick Breaks His Silence on Ex Girlfriend’s Sexual Assault Allegations
Hardwick denied Dykstra’s account of their relationship in a statement released June 16.
“I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post. 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,” said Hardwick, 46.
He continued by describing their relationship at the time and claiming the actress had been unfaithful to him when they were a couple.
“When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship,” Hardwick said. “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,” Hardwick, who is married to model Lydia Hearst, added. “I 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.”