Chris Hardwick Cut from Nerdist After Ex Chloe Dykstra Accuses Unnamed Boyfriend of Abuse
Digital entertainment company Nerdist is distancing itself from founder Chris Hardwick, severing ties after his Chloe Dykstra accused a past boyfriend who she did not name of sexual assault and emotional abuse.
“Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
In Dykstra’s essay, titled “Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession,” the 29-year-old actress and TV personality doesn’t name the subject, though certain key details have led many fans on Twitter to believe that she is referring to Hardwick.
Hardwick, 46, currently hosts The Wall, an NBC gameshow, as well as a Walking Dead after-show on AMC. He previously hosted @midnight with Chris Hardwick, a nightly comedy gameshow on Comedy Central. Reps for Hardwick did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In the essay, Dykstra said when she was in her early 20s, she began dating a man almost 20 years her senior who began displaying “controlling behavior” and within two weeks, “rules were quickly established.”
According to Dykstra, her nights “were expected to be reserved for him, as he had a busy schedule,” which alienated her from her friends.
Dykstra also said she was not to have close male friends and was not to drink alcohol, as he was sober. (Hardwick stopped drinking in 2003.)
“I was not to speak in public places (elevators, cars with drivers, restaurants where tables were too close) as he believed that people recognized him and were listening to our conversations,” she said.
Dykstra said she was “terrified to piss him off, so I did what he said. Including let him sexually assault me. Regularly.”
“I was expected to be ready for him when he came home from work,” she said. “Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears. He called it ‘starfishing.’ He thought the whole idea was funny.”
“To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him,” she said. “I’m still recovering from being sexually used (not in a super fun way) for three years.”
After three years “of being snapped/yelled at constantly,” Dykstra said she finally left him. After the breakup, she said her ex “made calls to several companies I received regular work from to get me fired by threatening to never work with them.”
“He succeeded,” she continued. “I was blacklisted. With the assistance of a woman who’d gained my trust and my heart over the past year, he steamrolled my career.”
Dykstra went on to say that she considered suicide “many times” over the years. Though she managed to “rebuild” her life, she said she “never received closure for the long-lasting trauma, physical and emotional.”
She concluded, “To the man who tried to ruin my future: A sincere and heartfelt apology could have made my last four years a hell of a lot easier.”
“The person I used to date would try to sue me due to pride — I would not recommend it,” she added. “I have audio/video that will support and prove many of the things I’ve stated in this post. I’ve chosen not to include it for your sake, in the hopes that the person you’ve become will do the right thing.”