Chris Hardwick Breaks His Silence on Ex Girlfriend's Sexual Assault Allegations: 'l Was Blindsided'
Hours after Dykstra’s claims went public, Hardwick gave a statement obtained by PEOPLE saying he made sure to take time to respond to the “very serious allegations.”
“I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post. Our three year relationship was not perfect — we were ultimately not a good match and argues — even shouted at each other — but I loved her and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her,” said Hardwick, 46.
He continued by describing their relationship at the time and claiming the actress had been unfaithful to him when they were a couple.
“When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship,” Hardwick said. “For several weeks after we broke up, she asked to get back together with me and even told me she wanted to have kids with me, ‘build a life’ with me and told me that I was ‘the one,’ but I did not want to be with someone who was unfaithful.”
“I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur,” Hardwick, who is married to model Lydia Hearst, added. “I was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her. As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”
Discussing the statement, a source familiar with the situation tells PEOPLE that Hardwick’s wife Hearst is not currently pregnant but that “children are definitely in their future plans.”
Dykstra, 29, wrote about her painful experience with sexual assault in an emotional first-person essay on Friday, although she never named her former boyfriend.
In the essay, titled “Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession,” the TV personality doesn’t name the subject, though certain key details led many fans on Twitter to believe that she was referring to ex-boyfriend Hardwick.
Hardwick currently hosts The Wall, an NBC game show, as well as a Walking Dead after-show on AMC called The Talking Dead. He previously hosted @midnight with Chris Hardwick, a nightly comedy game show on Comedy Central. Reps for Hardwick did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Dykstra and Hardwick announced their split in July 2014 via Twitter. Hardwick married heiress/actress Hearst in 2016.
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.”
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“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.”
Digital entertainment company Nerdist distanced itself from Hardwick by removing his name and bio from their website on Friday.
“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.”