Chris Hardwick's Ex-Girlfriend Shares Story of Sexual Abuse
In an emotional first-person essay for Medium published Thursday, actress Chloe Dykstra recounted an abusive relationship with an unnamed ex-boyfriend. The 29-year-old detailed "long-term" abuse, including sexual assault. Additionally, she alleges that he restricted her from going out at night or maintaining friendships with men; she was also not allowed to drink alcohol because he was sober.
The essay, titled "Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession," quickly made the rounds on social media, with many suspecting that the unnamed boyfriend was Chris Hardwick, 46. Dykstra and Hardwick dated for three years before splitting in 2014. Following their relationship, Hardwick married model and socialite Lydia Hearst in 2016.
Dykstra only describes the abuser as 20 years her senior and a powerful podcaster turned CEO—a bill which roughly fits Hardwick, who is 17 years older than the actress and founded the Nerdist podcast, which he later built into a media empire that was acquired by Legendary Entertainment in 2012. His contract expired in 2017.
Shortly after his name cropped up as the suspected abuser, Hardwick was scrubbed from the Nerdist website by Legendary Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017," reads a statement from a legal representative of Legendary Entertainment issued Friday. "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."
VIDEO: Chris Hardwick References Removed From Nerdist Website Amid Possible Sexual Assault Claims
Hardwick has not yet commented on the allegations; representatives for the host have not returned InStyle's request for comment.
Hardwick has also hosted such popular shows as @midnight with Chris Hardwick on Comedy Central, The Wall on NBC, as well as a Walking Dead after-show on AMC called The Talking Dead.
In her deeply personal essay, Dykstra wrote of the effect of the relationship. "I generally stopped speaking unless spoken to while with him, drifting through life like a ghost," she said. "I would try to sleep in as late as possible so my days were shorter. I stopped listening to music entirely. I ceased to be. I was an ex-person."
She also tweeted on Friday thanking readers for their support: "I quietly posted an article today, unlisted on Medium," she wrote. "It clearly made the rounds. I’m overwhelmed and I want to thank all of you for your support and kind words- they mean so much to me. I may take some time off the internet, please know your support means everything to me."
In the fallout, some contributors have stated that they are distancing themselves from the Nerdist brand. Writer Scott Weinberg tweeted, "As of today I no longer write for @nerdist. The editorial staff is absolutely fantastic but I don't want my work or name affiliated in any way with Chris Hardwick."
Added Donna Dickens, "As someone who writes for Nerdist, let me just say...Chris Hardwick is a piece of trash and I believe women."
Nerdist Editor in Chief Rachel Heine chimed in as well, writing, "I believe women. I believe all victims of abuse. This is not the Nerdist that our wonderful team has built, and I am heartbroken over all of this. Sending love and support to anyone who needs it today."