American Idol stage manager Debbie Williams is speaking out in defense of Ryan Seacrest after a former stylist accused the television host of sexual misconduct.
“I started with Ryan season 1 on Idol as the lead stage manager and continued through to the end. So 15 years of Idol, I worked very closely with him. You could talk to any woman on the crew or staff of Idol or any other show he does and they would all say the same about him. Nothing but respectful and professional,” Williams exclusively told Us Weekly.
Williams made it clear that she believes Seacrest is being honest about the situation.
“I think that this accuser is on the take. I am a woman’s advocate, I’m happy that things are changing,” she continued. “This movement for change is long overdue but there are those who want to use a movement to take advantage for financial purposes. That is what this is about in my estimation … I am very much a woman’s rights activist. I march, and I help with these causes so for me to speak out about this, is because I know this is true BS.”
As previously reported, the Live! host has been accused of sexual misconduct by former E! stylist Suzie Hardy. She first accused Seacrest back in November, and he denied her claims. After an investigation in November, E! released a statement that said there was “insufficient evidence” to support Hardy’s accusations. She later went public and detailed her story to Variety on February 26.
“Much to my dismay, Variety didn’t speak with me or bother to speak with other credible witnesses or even ask for any of the evidence that was obtained during the investigation when offered, all of which clearly challenged the veracity of the claims made against me,” Seacrest said in a statement on February 27. “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. 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.”
Williams made it clear that no one asked her to speak out on behalf of Seacrest, who returned to the former Fox reality show to host the American Idol reboot on ABC.
“Nope, this is all on my own. It pissed me off so much I felt I had to,” Williams said. “Haters can say what they want. Everyone who knows me and knows my integrity in this business is commending me. I call a spade a spade and always have.”
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