Chris Hardwick is denying the sexual and emotional abuse claims made by former longtime girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, issuing his first public comments since the story broke early Friday.
“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond,” Hardwick said in a statement released late Friday night (via Deadline).
“I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post. Our three year relationship was not perfect — we were ultimately not a good match and argued — even shouted at each other — but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her.”
The Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick host went on to detail their three-year relationship, writing he was “blindsided” and “devastated” by the accusations she made in a lengthy piece she published via Medium.
“When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship,” Hardwick said in the statement.
“For several weeks after we broke up, she asked to get back together with me and even told me she wanted to have kids with me, ‘build a life’ with me and told me that I was ‘the one,’ but I did not want to be with someone who was unfaithful. I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur. l was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her. As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”
Dykstra alleged she suffered severe sexual and emotional abuse during her time with Hardwick, as well as subsequent career blacklisting, detailing their relationship in a piece titled ‘Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession.’
“I generally stopped speaking unless spoken to while with him, drifting through life like a ghost,” the actress, model and professional cosplayer wrote. “I would try to sleep in as late as possible so my days were shorter. I stopped listening to music entirely. I ceased to be. I was an ex-person.”
Dykstra claimed Hardwick pressured her into sex against her will and, following their breakup, he “made calls to several companies [she] received regular work from to get [her] fired by threatening to never work with them.”
“He succeeded,” she wrote. “I was blacklisted.”
In the hours since Dykstra’s account became widespread, Nerdist — founded by Hardwick — scrubbed all mention of him from their website and owners Legendary Entertainment made clear Hardwick had not been involved with the company for months.
AMC faced pressure from representatives whose celebrity clients are slated to appear on the upcoming sophomore season of Talking with Chris Hardwick, saying they now felt “very uncomfortable” being tied to Hardwick amid the damning allegations.
The representatives then urged the network to pull or at least delay season 2 of Talking until the claims could be thoroughly investigated. Upcoming celebrity guests include Donald Glover and Chris Pratt.
The second season of the talk show is scheduled to premiere this Sunday on AMC.
Hardwick, the longtime host of live Walking Dead-centric aftershow Talking Dead, also found himself boycotted by some viewers who called for him to be replaced by fan-favorite guest Yvette Nicole Brown.
AMC has not yet issued a comment on the controversy.
“PS: To the man who tried to ruin my future: A sincere and heartfelt apology could have made my last four years a hell of a lot easier,” Dykstra wrote, concluding her piece.72comments
“The person I used to date would try to sue me due to pride- I would not recommend it. I have audio/video that will support and prove many of the things I’ve stated in this post. I’ve chosen not to include it for your sake, in the hopes that the person you’ve become will do the right thing.”
You can read Dykstra's account in full here.