After Chloe Dykstra wrote an essay describing the sexual and emotional abuse of an ex-boyfriend, who many deduced was Chris Hardwick, some close to the podcaster and TV host have come to his defense. Hardwick denied the allegations, claiming that he was “blindsided by her post” and that “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.” His wife Lydia Hearst later wrote that she stood by her husband. Now, actress and former Real World contestant Jacinda Barrett, who dated and was briefly engaged to Hardwick, has shared her own post, claiming that “the accuser’s story bears no resemblance to the one I shared with him all those years ago, but what is of supreme importance here is that every woman and every man deserves a voice. Accuser and Accused. Everyone deserves to be heard. A rush to judgement denies the right to due process; the Metoo movement deserves due process.” She also posted a screenshot of an imaginary situation in which someone loses their “livelihood, legacy, reputation” and is publicly shamed without due process. She added the hashtags #metoomovement, #dueprocess, and #chrishardwick, and tagged Hardwick himself.
In the wake of Dykstra’s essay, Nerdist removed Hardwick’s name from its site, his appearance at the Kaaboo music festival was canceled, he pulled out of moderating two panels at Comic-Con, and AMC temporarily pulled his talk show, while NBC is reviewing his presence on its show The Wall.
On her AMC show Unapologetic last night, host Aisha Tyler started the night by saying that “I want people to know that you can know and like someone and still reserve judgment on behavior of theirs of which you have no firsthand knowledge.”
As you may know, AMC host Chris Hardwick was recently accused of abuse by his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. In response, Chris issued a statement denying those allegations. AMC has said that while they assess the situation fully, Talking with Chris Hardwick will not air on the network going forward. In the interest of full disclosure, I have known Chris professionally and personally for many years. I consider him a good friend. I say this because I want to be open and clear about my relationship to Chris, and I want people to know that you can know and like someone and still reserve judgment on behavior of theirs of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I share the concerns expressed by the network and the public over these very serious claims. Unapologetic is and will remain a place to discuss all issues relevant to women, no matter how close to home they may hit. We take our responsibility seriously, and we will continue to monitor this story.
Others close to Hardwick have been similarly resistant to speaking out about Dykstra’s accusations directly. On June 15, Wil Wheaton said, “I’m shocked, and I’m sure you’ll understand that before I’m ready to make a public statement about my best friend to 3 million+ people, I need some time to process what’s going on.” The same day, actress Felicia Day wrote that she was “I was so shocked and sad to read” Dykstra’s post and that “I’m having a lot feelings I’m grappling with but more than anything my heart goes out to her.” Hardwick’s longtime Nerdist co-host Matt Mira, quote-tweeted Felicia Day, while Jonah Ray Rodrigues, another co-host, said only “I’m sorry and I’m figuring it out.”