Ryan Seacrest: Sexual Misconduct Accusations Were ‘Gut-Wrenching’

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Ryan Seacrest said it was “gut-wrenching” to be accused of sexual misconduct days after E! announced an external investigation found insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations.

In November, Seacrest said in a statement that a former wardrobe stylist at E! News “came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her.” Seacrest denied the allegations. The woman has not come forward publicly and detailed her specific claims. E! confirmed the same month that it opened an investigation into Seacrest, but said on Feb. 1 that outside counsel “found insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest.”

In an essay for The Hollywood Reporter published on Feb. 5, the American Idol host explained how the allegations affected him and said it’s important to assure that those accused of sexual misconduct have the opportunity to receive due process.

“To have my workplace conduct questioned was gut-wrenching… 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,” Seacrest wrote. “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.”

But Seacrest also said that he wants to play an active role in the conversation about how women are treated in the workplace.

“I absolutely want to be part of the change, the progress, that is coming. I did not want to be a postscript of evidence of its cause,” Seacrest wrote. “My job is to listen. Beyond listening, which I will continue in earnest, I also will ask questions and try to help voices be heard.”

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Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com