“I just want you to know that you are a privilege to work with, and I adore you,” Ripa exclaimed. “And I am speaking on behalf of all us here. I know what an easy, professional, great person you are and I feel very, very lucky to work with you each and every day. We all do.”
The audience cheered as the pair joined arms.
“You are happiness,” Seacrest told Ripa.
“You are happiness,” she responded. “You are happiness wrapped in chocolate, so there.”
E! is also standing behind Seacrest, stating that he will still be on the red carpet covering Sunday’s Oscars. But will he land his usual big interviews? In the era of #MeToo and Time’s Up, that’s something that gives Jennifer Lawrence pause.
Howard Stern asked the actress if she would let Seacrest interview on Sunday. “I can’t imagine him being sexual,” she replied, adding, “I don’t know. I mean, there is a lot to think about with E!, you know?… He has not been to trial for anything. I am not a judge. I am not a jury… that is where this stuff gets tricky.”
Lawrence noted Fashion Police and the network’s handling of Catt Sadler as other reasons she might pass by E! altogether.
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel says he will still be interviewed by Seacrest as planned following the ceremony. “Of course I will,” Kimmel told Variety. “Listen, you know, we should at the very least afford people the opportunity for truth, what the facts of the story are before hanging them out to dry.”
Asked if he would discuss the allegations with Seacrest, Kimmel said that he would not, adding, “He’s interviewing me.”
Seacrest’s girlfriend, Shayna Taylor, has also broken her silence saying she’s still #TeamRyan.
The American Idol host has been on the defensive this week since his accuser went public. Seacrest’s former E! News stylist, Suzie Hardy, came forward revealing she was the woman who brought the harassment accusations last November. In an interview with Variety, Hardy graphically detailed years of alleged unwanted sexual aggression she endured at the hands of Seacrest during their time together, starting in 2007. She claims her employment ended shortly after she went to human resources in 2013.
In a firm statement, Seacrest once again called her claims false and alleged she attempted to blackmail him for “millions of dollars.” He also pointed to the fact E! hired a third party to investigate her accusations and the network was unable to find enough evidence to support the claims.
Hardy is having none of it.
“I remained quiet for years out of fears that my story wouldn’t be believed and that I would be subject to scorn and ridicule for telling it,” she told Variety after Seacrest’s most recent denial. “I was emboldened by the bravery of others to finally and confidentially tell my story to NBC. Ryan elected to take the story public with a false narrative that he was exonerated and the victim of some sort of money grab. He is not the victim, and I refuse to let him victimize me for telling the truth.”
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