Gut-wrenching: Seacrest on sexual misconduct allegation

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Los Angeles, Feb 6 (IANS) TV host Ryan Seacrest says it was “gut-wrenching” to have have his workplace conduct questioned after a woman accused him of harassment.

A former stylist made the sexual harassment allegations against him last year.

Seacrest has reacted to it in a guest column for hollywoodreporter.com.

“In November, I received a letter from a lawyer representing a former show stylist. She claimed that I mistreated her more than a decade ago when we worked together.

“This arrived during an unprecedented public reckoning by women in our industry and beyond, courageously coming forward to share their stories, many of them heartbreaking. These women sought to bring attention to the systemic gender inequality that has occurred for decades. I was – and am – amazed at their bravery.

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“To have my workplace conduct questioned was gut-wrenching.”

Seacrest says his aim has always been to treat all of his colleagues with honesty, respect, kindness and compassion.

“Yet, I knew, regardless of the confidence I had that there was no merit to the allegations. My name would likely soon appear on the lists of those suspected of despicable words and deeds. The pressures of our overflowing newsfeeds would insist on it,” he added.

The television personality, 43, said that he wants to be a part of the change and progress that is coming.

“I did not want to be a postscript of evidence of its cause,” he said.

“After sharing the letter with the network, I publicly denied the claims against me, and agreed to participate in any inquiry the network deemed appropriate. On February 1, I received notice that an independent third party found the claims to be unsubstantiated and that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on my part.

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“Most of us agree that the presumption of innocence is an important standard. We are taught early on that it’s essential to see all sides, to give everyone a chance to explain and to check for exculpatory evidence that may have been missed.

“At a time when improper interactions between men and women, particularly in the workplace, are part of a national conversation, we must find a way to ensure that everyone – the public, private and public institutions, accusers and alleged accused – is given the opportunity for a swift and fair review.”

Seacrest added: “We all have the right to be treated equally, regardless of our gender, race, faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or other status.”

–IANS

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