Chris Hardwick wife and accuser address assault claims

Justin Harp
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

From Digital Spy

The following article contains allegations of sexual misconduct that some readers may find distressing.

Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick's wife and his sexual assault accuser, former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, have both penned new statements about his conduct.

Last week, AMC in the US announced it would drop Hardwick's chatshow Talking from the schedules and BBC America has pulled him from hosting Doctor Who's Comic-Con International panel in the wake of accusations from Dykstra.

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(Chloe Dykstra)

In an essay posted to website Medium, Dykstra alleged that an unnamed former partner - who she identified as someone who went from a "podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company" - was emotionally and sexually abusive during their three-year relationship. She also accused him of trying to have her blacklisted in Hollywood when they broke up.

Hardwick denied those claims in his own statement, and insisted that he does not "condone any kind of mistreatment of women".

His wife, the model and blogger Lydia Hearst, has since come to his defence in a new statement to The Hollywood Reporter, which she insists isn't "a statement in defense [but] a statement of defense".

"Defense for all the women who have been sexually abused, raped, trafficked, and tortured; defense of all the people who this movement was started for," she wrote.

"Over the last year the #MeToo movement has rightly aimed a spotlight directly on women whose stories needed to be told."

Hearst continued: "As someone who has been involved in toxic relationships in the past, I know first-hand the importance of sharing these stories and do not take this situation lightly. I have made the decision to come out in support of my husband not out of obligation, but out of necessity to speak the truth about the person I know.

Photo credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Disney

"Chris is nothing but loving and compassionate and is the only person who has stood by me, never judged me, helped me heal, and feel whole. To defend my husband would be giving credence to any of these accusations. I will not do that. Chris Hardwick is a good man."

Hearst vowed to give her "continued support" to the Talking Dead star, adding: "I believe that the truth will always win. #TimesUp because I know my truth and I believe in due process."

Prior to Hearst speaking out, Chloe Dykstra tweeted to thank her Twitter followers for the "outpouring of support and love" in the week since she posted her essay.

"It is my hope, and it always was, that women and men on both sides of abuse will make changes to either protect themselves or to stop the cycle of pain their own behavior can cause," she wrote.

"My heart goes out to those caught in the fallout. Having been able to lift from my shoulder that which was weighing me down, I'm ready to move forwards in my life, finally instead of looking back with fear and sadness."

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland's helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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