Ryan Seacrest seems to be one of the few men in Hollywood who has emerged relatively unscathed from a sexual harassment scandal, but his behavior toward women is once again raising eyebrows. On Sunday night’s episode of American Idol, Seacrest was caught making creepy and uncomfortable comments to judge Katy Perry when he thought cameras weren’t rolling.
The host was standing near the judge’s table and presumably having a conversation with judges Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie during the commercial break, but he didn’t snap out of it when the cameras started recording again. “We’re on,” Perry told him, which he seemed to ignore.
“Your mom’s pretty,” he told Perry. “My mom? Well, I hope the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” she responded with a wink toward the camera, presumably trying to let Seacrest know that they were live.
“It doesn’t. You are too, but you’re not a mom,” he responded. “Not yet,” Perry answered.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Seacrest asked Perry, at which point the judges started laughing to try to move past the moment, as Seacrest finally realized the cameras were rolling. “Don’t start,” Richie warned through his teeth while smiling into the camera.
Unlike other Hollywood power players whose careers have been upended by sexual harassment allegations, Seacrest still hosts many TV and radio shows, including the American Idol reboot and Live with Kelly and Ryan. Back in November, his former stylist Suzie Hardy accused Seacrest of “years of unwanted sexual aggression,” from verbal harassment to slapping and groping her while in his underwear.
An internal investigation at E! cleared Seacrest of wrongdoing, finding “insufficient evidence to support the claims.”