In a statement of response to allegations of psychological and sexual abuse made by his ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra, Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick resolutely refutes all claims.
Amid a storm of allegations that threatens to destroy his career, television host and podcaster Chris Hardwick took a day to draw breath before issuing a statement of response.
The furore began when former Nerdist employee, Chloe Dykstra, published a lengthy essay on Friday that detailed – what she describes as – years of psychological and sexual abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend which led to suicidal thoughts and anorexia.
Whilst the actress, model and cosplayer refrained from naming her alleged abuser, there seemed little doubt who the focus of the piece was aimed at.
Statements from Legendary Entertainment and nerdist.com distancing themselves from Hardwick and detailing ways to find help for those suffering similar abuse merely moved to help substantiate those assumptions.
Hardwick had formed Nerdist, a pop-culture blog and subsequent home to his popular Nerdist Podcast, in 2008. In 2012 what had become Nerdist Enterprises was acquired by Legendary Entertainment where Hardwick was retained in a consultancy capacity for a period of time.
Dykstra and Hardwick dated between 2011 and 2014. The announcement of their split was made via twitter. Hardwick since married actress and model Lydia Hearst in 2016.
Chloe Dykstra alleges years of abuse from ex-boyfriend
As the story gained traction fans and critics expressed frustration at Hardwick’s extended silence on the matter. Something he addressed in his eventual statement (as reported on by deadline.com) confirming Hardwick as the accused:
“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond”
“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 goes on to accuse Dykstra of infidelity citing that as the catalyst which led to the breakup of their relationship. He suggests that she asked for him to take her back but that he was unwilling to continue a relationship with someone who has been unfaithful.
The statement concludes with:
“As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”
Friends and peers of Chris Hardwick have been left perplexed by the news. Felicia Day, founder of Geek & Sundry – a gaming site also acquired by Legendary Entertainments as a sister site to Nerdist – sent her sympathies to Dykstra (@skydart) on twitter.
Meanwhile Hardwick’s best friend, former ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ actor and Geek & Sundry contributor, Wil Wheaton, is also struggling to come to terms with the accusations.
The effects of the accusations have already been seen on Hardwick’s short-term career.
With pressure mounting from viewers for a statement, AMC – who screen ‘The Talking Dead’, a companion show to ‘The Walking Dead’ hosted by Hardwick – have taken action.
A second season of another show fronted by the host ‘Talking with Chris Hardwick’ was due to air this week with ‘Solo’ star Donald Glover as guest. This has been pulled for the time being. AMC promise an investigation into the claims made by Chloe Dykstra before deciding the fate of Chris Hardwick’s career with the network.
Hardwick will also no longer be appearing at next month’s San Diego Comic-Con where he was set to moderate the return of ‘The Walking Dead’ in Hall H as well as the panel for the first ever female ‘Doctor Who’, Jodie Whittaker.