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AMC Pulls Chris Hardwick's Talk Show Amid Abuse Claims

Hardwick is also stepping away from San Diego Comic-Con

Liam Mathews

AMC has put a hold on its relationship with Talking franchise host Chris Hardwick after he was accused of sexual and emotional abuse by his ex-girlfriend, actress Chloe Dykstra.

"We have had a positive working relationship with Chris Hardwick for many years. We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously," the network said in a statement Saturday. "While we assess the situation, Talking with Chris Hardwick will not air on AMC, and Chris has decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month."

Hardwick was scheduled to moderate panels for Doctor Whoand The Walking Dead -- for which he hosts an AMC aftershow titled Talking Dead -- at San Diego Comic-Con. In addition toTalking Dead, Hardwick also hosts a pop culture talk show called Talking with Chris Hardwick for the network. He has previously hosted aftershows for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He also hosts the NBC game show The Wall.

Chris Hardwick Responds to Sexual Assault Accusations

Hardwick was accused of abuse and sexual assault by Dykstra, whom he dated from 2011 to 2014. In a post published on Medium Thursday, Dykstra described being sexually assaulted and emotionally abused by a man she did not name but was obviously Hardwick. She alleges that Hardwick regularly coerced her into sex, among other instances of cruel treatment.

Hardwick has denied Dykstra's allegations. "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 provided to 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." Hardwick then went on to accuse Dykstra of infidelity, saying that, "As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women."

AMC is the second company to distance itself from Hardwick. Nerdist Industries, the content company he founded but in which he is no longer involved, took his name off its website Friday pending further investigation.