5:35pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
Bellamy Young Apologizes to Ryan Seacrest After Saying He Shouldn't Host the Oscars Red Carpet
Scandal star Bellamy Young said Monday on a red carpet that Ryan Seacrest should give up his red-carpet hosting duties at the Oscars in the wake of sexual harassment allegations levied against him by his former E! stylist. But now, Young is offering the American Idol host an apology for her remarks, explaining that she wasn't given the whole story by the journalist who asked the question.
"I have an apology to make," she told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Tuesday. "On Monday night on the red carpet, I spoke on record about something I had no first hand knowledge of. I trusted that the information that the journalist provided me with was complete, and I gave my general opinion based on the information he provided. The world is changing quickly right now, and many of us have been affected by this issue: I spoke up because I feel deeply that the secrecy of shame plays a significant part in what has kept this shift from happening before now."
Young continued: "But never has there been a more urgent time to make sure our voices are used for truth, and I failed in that regard Monday night. Our words matter. Our word matters. I apologize to Ryan Seacrest. He has been exonerated from the allegations I was told about on the carpet, so my opinion is different now. I just want to clarify that anyone who uses my quote going forward is using the quote of an uninformed person and fanning the flames of a non-story by making use of an unwitting accomplice. I’ve learned that ‘I don’t know’ can be a complete answer. I will do better next time."
On the carpet for the premiere of A Wrinkle in Time, Young — who appears in the film — responded to a question about Seacrest from Variety, the same day the publication ran a story detailing the sexual harassment claims brought against him by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy. The reporter's question, however, was not included in the video clip the publication shared from the event, only Young's response. The actress starts off by saying, "That's so interesting, I've been at work the whole day so I didn't know about that," before she goes on to share her thoughts on whether the veteran host should step back from his Oscar duties.
"I think this is the time to step aside and let someone of equal talent who is beyond reproach to be in charge," Young said on camera. “It’s funny because I know it feels like the rules have changed, so I’m sure people who have been in dominant positions are taken by surprise, and many of them living in fear, many of them thinking, ‘But this is how we said we’d act.’ But we never said that. We never consented. And so now that someone is asking, ‘Do you consent?’ and we get to say, ‘No,’ and people have to accept our 'no' and step aside."
Earlier Tuesday, Seacrest responded to his accuser going public with her allegations, which she did nearly a month after E! completed an internal investigation that found "insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest." Hardy alleged that she endured years of sexual harassment from the TV personality and that he groped her vagina, rubbed his erect penis against her while laying on top of her in only underwear and slapped her butt hard enough to leave a welt. "Yesterday, Variety published a salacious story that revealed the specific claims against me for the first time — even though an independent third-party investigator found insufficient evidence to support the claims," Seacrest said Tuesday in a statement.
"This person who has accused me of horrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused," the Live With Kelly and Ryan host continued. "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."