Jason Kennedy’s Wife Lauren Scruggs Defends Him After Catt Sadler’s E! Exit

Lauren Scruggs defends Jason Kennedy
Lauren Scruggs and Jason Kennedy arrive to the 7th Annual "Night Of Generosity" Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 6, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Jason Kennedy’s wife, Lauren Scruggs, is defending him following Catt Sadler’s exit from E! over a pay disparity between the two cohosts.

Earlier this week, Sadler, 43, revealed that she left the network after finding out that there was a “massive disparity in pay” between her and Kennedy, 36. The longtime friends joined the company at the same time 12 years ago.

According to Scruggs, Kennedy has received negative comments on social media within the past 48 hours and that there are “two sides to every story.”

“I believe in female empowerment and gender equality, but it’s heartbreaking that a network is being deemed sexist when that is simply not true,” Scruggs, 29, captioned a pic of the couple via Instagram on Thursday, December 21. “At one time my husband had a female co-anchor on E! News who made 3 times his salary,” she continued, alluding to Giuliana Rancic. “Women are paid accordingly on this network, and the difference in his salary versus hers did not affect Jason. He knows there are always more components to consider when determining one’s salary than gender alone. … Since Jason was named the permanent anchor of E! News over two years ago, he has had various co-hosts that rotate throughout the week. A permanent co-host has never been named since the last one left 6 months ago.”

I have always said that there are negatives and positives to social media, and these last 48 hours have proven that to be true. I believe in female empowerment and gender equality, but it’s heartbreaking that a network is being deemed sexist when that is simply not true. At one time my husband had a female co-anchor on E! News who made 3 times his salary. Women are paid accordingly on this network, and the difference in his salary versus hers did not affect Jason. He knows there are always more components to consider when determining one’s salary than gender alone. _ In a New York Times article yesterday, an E! spokeswoman confirmed quote “Ms. Sadler’s and Mr. Kennedy’s roles were not comparable.” Since Jason was named the permanent anchor of E! News over two years ago, he has had various co-hosts that rotate throughout the week. A permanent co-host has never been named since the last one left 6 months ago. _ As you know, there are two sides to every story. I am posting this to tell the other side, which everyone deserves to know before jumping to conclusions about a place he has called home for the last twelve years. If he ever heard that gender inequality was occurring at his workplace, he would take action. Instead, it’s the contrary, and the numerous phone calls we have had these past two days from both current and former female employees at E! only support what he has seen in his time there. These women have assured us that they never felt gender inequality was at play at any time. _ Jason is the most tender-hearted & respectful person and it’s so sad to see him unfairly publicly shamed. His name has been dragged through the mud regarding nothing he did, except be a great friend & colleague. It absolutely breaks my heart to watch, & it is devastating & frustrating to see how this all played out. I will always stand on truth, & I cannot stand by and be silent when the foundation of a story that affects my family is not based on that. I am so proud of & inspired by my husband for constantly being prayerful, surrounding himself w/ wisdom, & being the definition of a class act even in unfortunate circumstances. Love u, Jase, I am honored to be by your side.

A post shared by Lauren Scruggs Kennedy (@laurenscruggs) on

She went on to note that Kennedy is “the most tender-hearted and respectful person” and that he would have taken action if he heard that gender inequality was taking place. The pair have instead been speaking to current and former female E! employees since Sadler stepped down, who have “assured” them that they “never felt gender inequality” at the show.

“His name has been dragged through the mud regarding nothing he did, except be a great friend & colleague. It absolutely breaks my heart to watch, & it is devastating & frustrating to see how this all played out,” Scruggs wrote. “I will always stand on truth, & I cannot stand by and be silent when the foundation of a story that affects my family is not based on that. I am so proud of & inspired by my husband for constantly being prayerful, surrounding himself w/ wisdom, & being the definition of a class act even in unfortunate circumstances. Love u, Jase, I am honored to be by your side.”

Shortly after, Kennedy responded on his own Instagram account. “I love you @laurenscruggs thank you for what you just posted.”

Sadler, for her part, has nothing against Kennedy. “If I had one ask, it is to please not place blame on my friend Jason Kennedy. He has done right by me in every respect. It hurts me deeply to see that some are vilifying him,” she wrote in an Instagram post early Thursday. “I repeat, his hands are tied on this matter and if you’re angry – rightfully so – direct that emotion at the decision makers who failed us, not him. All my love + gratitude.”

On Tuesday, E! told Us Weekly in a statement: “E! compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender. We appreciate Catt Sadler’s many contributions at E! News and wish her all the best following her decision to leave the network.”

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