It looks like the #MeToo movement has hit Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick. His ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra recently posted an article detailing serious abuse allegations and the name of the former Nerdist CEO has been completely removed from the Nerdist site. This is just one of many consequences that is sure to follow.
After the allegations came to light Legendary, the owner of Nerdist, made the following statement:
"Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017. 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."
Nerdist offered their own statement on the matter, saying:
"Like you, we were shocked to read the news this morning. Nerdist prides itself on being an inclusive company made up of a positive, diverse community of people who come together to share and discuss the things we love. That type of behavior is contrary to everything we stand for and believe in, and we absolutely don’t tolerate discrimination, harassment, and other forms of abuse."
I'm sure you're all wondering what it is that Hardwick is accused of doing. Well, Dykstra dated Hardwick from 2012 until 2014. She never named her ex in the article, but she did say that he "grew from a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company". It's since been revealed that she was talking about Hardwick.
Dykstra said that her ex-boyfriend was emotionally abusive. She also said that she was forced into having sex with him whenever he wanted and that there was regular sexual abuse as she was pressured into it against her will. She says she would give in to his demands out of fear of upsetting him or losing him.
She explained that he laid down rules for her social interactions, isolating her from her friends and other sources of support. She also said that she became anorexic and had an ectopic pregnancy. Apparently, not long after surgery, she said that he asked the doctor, "When do you think I can have sex with her again." She writes, "I was expected to be ready for him when he came home from work" and went on to say:
"I lost myself, both mentally and physically. I lost 15 lbs within weeks, started pulling out my hair (and had to get extensions regularly to hide it). I generally stopped speaking unless spoken to while with him, drifting through life like a ghost. 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."
Dykstra said she left Hardwick after three years, and she says that after the breakup he made calls to companies "to get me fired by threatening to never work with them," and that he and a female colleague "steamrolled my career." She went on to say she was "blacklisted from my industry at age 25." In regards to the female colleague that turned against her, she said:
"The woman actively made it her mission to destroy my friendships. And she did, because by the time they’d realized she was an unreliable source the damage had already been done."
Wow! If this is true, that sucks. I would have never thought that Hardwick would be like this. But, Dykstra claimed in her piece that her "nightmare" ex was a "prince" whenever the cameras were on and people were watching them together.
Dykstra went on to say that she thought about killing herself repeatedly after everything she had gone through, and that while she has her life back on the right path, she wrote the essay in the hope of finding closure. She realizes that some people might think she is making this stuff up, but she goes on to say that she has proof.
"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. 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."
It sounds like this poor woman went through a hellish situation. With allegations like this coming to light during a sensitive time in the entertainment industry that isn't tolerating this kind of behavior, if this turns out to be true, Hardwick's career could definitely be in jeopardy.
It's sad to hear stories like this about people that your a fan of, but if this actually turns out to be true, you can't really defend him. That kind of behavior isn't defendable. Hardwick has yet to make a statement on the matter.