Ryan Seacrest has claimed the sexual harassment allegations made against him by his former stylist are part of an extortion attempt.

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest

The 43-year-old television presenter was accused by Suzie Hardy in an article in Variety magazine this week of being sexually aggressive towards her when they worked together through TV channel E!.

And now, Ryan has denied the allegations, claiming that Suzie has accused him of "horrible things" in the past in order to extort money from the star in return for her silence.

In a statement, Ryan said: "Yesterday, Variety published a salacious story that revealed the specific claims against me for the first time - even though an independent third-party investigator found insufficient evidence to support the claims. Much to my dismay, Variety didn't speak with me or bother to speak with other credible witnesses or even ask for any of the evidence that was obtained during the investigation when offered, all of which clearly challenged the veracity of the claims made against me.

"This person who has accused me of horrible things tried to buy her silence by asking for money on multiple occasions - I refused. I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don't take my opportunities for granted. I don't want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest."

Ryan also spoke of his support for the #MeToo and Time's Up movements - which aim to eradicate sexual harassment - saying he "applauds" those who come forward.

He added: "Much has been said about the #MeToo and Times Up movement(s) and the importance of providing women and men with the opportunity to share their stories of workplace misconduct, in an effort to change our culture and the systemic inequalities that exist. I absolutely support this cause unequivocally and applaud all the brave souls who have come forward to share their stories."

In her Variety article, Suzie claimed that Ryan groped her vagina, pushed himself up against her body and slapped her buttock so hard that a mark was still visible hours later.

Of the alleged abuse, Suzie said: "As proud as I am and as strong as a woman as I am, as smart as I am and as much work as I've done with therapists, it really affected me."

Suzie claimed that the situation only ended in 2013, when she reported Ryan to human resources executives and her employment was terminated.

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