“Mark came in town for 12 hours and this is how were spending it,” Ripa, 47, told Seacrest. “You look amazing. We were watching you upstairs in the hotel. You’re doing a great job.”
Ripa first expressed her support for Seacrest, 43, last week after Variety published an interview with former E! stylist Suzie Hardy, who accused him of sexually harassing her multiple times over the six years that she was employed by the network from 2007-13, including grabbing her crotch on more than one occasion. The American Idol host denied the allegations when they were first revealed in November, and again last week. E!’s investigation concluded Feb. 1 that there was “insufficient evidence to support the claims.”
“I cannot wait to see you there,” she said during Thursday’s Live broadcast, referring to the Oscars. “I am very excited. And I just want you to know, you are a privilege to work with and I adore you. Speaking on behalf of all of us here, I know what a easy, professional, great person you are, and I feel very, very lucky to work with you each and every day.”
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Ripa will be on backstage duty at the Academy Awards, chatting with attendees and serving up treats. “We have candy set up there,” she continued to Seacrest on Sunday. “We have a full bar. … We served tequila, and apparently no one else here does.”
Before parting ways with Seacrest, she repeated, “So good to see you!”
The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.