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The host's ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra claims he abused her
The dominoes continue to fall for nerd culture magnate Chris Hardwick after allegations of sexual assault and emotional abuse, which he has denied to be true, were leveled against him by his ex-girlfriend, actress Chloe Dykstra.
On Friday, Hardwick's name was taken off the website of Nerdist, the content company he founded. "Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017. He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks. The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation," a Legendary spokesperson said in statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.
Meanwhile, AMC announced Saturday that it would not be airing Hardwick's talk show Talking with Chris Hardwick while the network assessed its relationship with the host. The company also noted that Hardwick would no longer be moderating scheduled panels for AMC and BBC America properties The Walking Dead and Doctor Whoat San Diego Comic-Con in July. Elsewhere, NBC is reevaluating its relationship with Hardwick, who hosts The Wall.
In a Medium post published Thursday, Dykstra detailed a three-year abusive relationship with an unnamed man whose description matches Hardwick's. (Among numerous other identifying characteristics, she describes the man as growing from "a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company;" Hardwick was listed as the CEO of podcast network Nerdist Industries until that mention was scrubbed Friday. Hardwick and Dykstra were in a public relationship from 2011 to 2014). Dykstra writes that Hardwick began abusing her early in their relationship, starting with controlling behavior and verbally abusing her over perceived infractions, leading to a pattern that eventually led to him controlling every aspect of her life.
AMC Pulls Chris Hardwick's Talk Show Amid Abuse Claims
The alleged abuse included Hardwick regularly coercing her into having sex with him when she didn't want to. "Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears," Dykstra writes. "He called it 'starfishing'. He thought the whole idea was funny. To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him. I'm still recovering from being sexually used (not in a super fun way) for three years."
Dykstra writes that she was "a ghost" during their relationship, suffering from anorexia and barely speaking. She contemplated suicide. Eventually she left him, and he allegedly sabotaged her career, pressuring people who worked with her into cutting her off.
Dykstra writes that she's better now, but it's been a tough process. "With the help of a therapist, a psychiatrist, good people, plus a lot of hard work, I've managed to rebuild my life and I'm in a much better place," she writes. She ends the post with a call for Hardwick to "do the right thing," adding that she has corroborating evidence should he deny it.
Following the pickup of her post, Dykstra took to Twitter to thank people for their support.
Hardwick is the host of AMC's Talking franchise that includes Walking Dead aftershow Talking Dead, NBC's game show The Wall and a podcast called ID10T, which used to be called Nerdist but rebranded after Hardwick left the company last year. Hardwick also hosted the Comedy Central series @Midnight.
The allegations against Hardwick are also having an adverse affect on Nerdist, as at least one writer who worked with Nerdist has ended the professional relationship over the connection to Hardwick.
Late Friday night, Hardwick responded to Dykstra's post, denying that he assaulted her and accusing her of infidelity.
"These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I've taken the day to consider how to respond," said Hardwick 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.
"When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship," Hardwick continued. "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."
Hardwick's mother-in-law Patty Hearst also took to Twitter Friday to defend him. "Beware the person who stabs you and then tells the world they're the one who's bleeding," Hearst tweeted. She also retweeted stories of Hardwick's denial.