Chloe Dykstra, who raised sexual abuse allegations against Chris Hardwick, responds to the fallout on Twitter by thanking her community for listening and responding to her story, while Lydia Hearst defends her husband in an official statement regarding the matter. It’s been a week since sexual abuse allegations levied at Chris Hardwick arose, with actress and model Dykstra publishing a essay on Medium that quickly circulated throughout the industry. While neglecting to mention Hardwick by name, Dykstra’s piece brought attention and backlash against the comedian, television host, and founder of the Nerdist Empire.
Dykstra alleges that Hardwick sexually abused her during their former relationship, and that, upon ending it, her ex took pains to ensure she would be professionally blacklisted. Hardwick was relatively quick to issue a statement in which he denies ever having sexually assaulted Dykstra, though this did little to halt action taken towards his opportunities, and even the remnant presence on the website Nerdist he once founded.
Hardwick was quickly pulled from SDCC hosting duties, had the newly completed second season of Talking with Chris Hardwick put on hold by AMC, and the status of his role on game show The Wall placed into limbo as NBC “assesses the situation.” Yesterday, Dykstra tweeted a detailed response to the developments and support of her original statement, but Hearst went directly to People to deliver an exclusive statement on the allegations made against her husband, invoking the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Hearst statement reads:
“This is not a statement in defense, this is a statement of defense...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.”
Meanwhile, Dykstra expressed thanks for the support and courage shown by others in sexually abusive situations, some of whom have spoken up since her article posted. “The people who have come forward with both stories validating mine, and stories of their own personal experiences, have helped me immensely in my own healing process.” She went on to articulate the complexities which prevent others from coming out with their own statements: “It is my hope, and it always was, that women and men on both sides of abuse will make changes to either protect themselves, or to stop the cycle of pain their own behavior can cause. These behaviors are insidious and often hard to spot- we make excuses for them and, bit by bit, we can lose ourselves entirely.” Dykstra ended her statement by providing a phone number and website link for the National Sexual Assault Hotline and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), respectively.
Hardwick’s own statement from June 16 denies any instance of sexual assault, and states that Dykstra cheated on him, prompting him to end the relationship. Dykstra describes these circumstances in greater detail in her first post, and they notably contradict Hardwick’s own description of the events.
As for Hearst, she articulates that her decision to speak out now is “...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.” Hearst’s own mother, author and actress Patty Hearst, “sub-tweeted” Dykstra’s statement one day after it was posted.
No further news has yet been revealed as to the status of Talking with Chris Hardwick or The Wall.
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