UPDATED: The company that controls Nerdist industries have scrubbed the name Chris Hardwick from their site, even references to him as founder. (Read more below)
Chloe Dykstra, former long term girlfriend to actor, comedian, producer, podcaster, and all around comedy power player Chris Hardwick, has joined the #metoo movement, posting a lengthy testimonial on Medium.com of years of sexual and emotional abuse. She does not name her abuser but it’s not difficult to guess who she is accusing- a man who is ten years her senior, who she “watched and supported him as he grew from a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company.” Hardwick has indeed built up an empire, @midnight, “Talking Dead” and all things “Nerdist” and Ms. Dykstra describes him as a celebrity and career-obsessed man.
Her relationship with him is described as filled with rules, and sexual obsession; she says she was required to drop all her male friends, and reserve all her evenings for him. She was not allowed to drink because he was sober, and she says he would demand that the stay in hotel rooms while he went out. Sexually she describes a demanding man with a voracious need for sex- nightly- regardless of whether she felt up to it or not, even if she was crying, something she says he called starfishing. “I did what he said,” she wrote, “…Including let him sexually assault me. Regularly. I was expected to be ready for him when he came home from work.”
The relationship ended, according to the article, when Chloe fled into the arms of another man. ” I finally left him. For another man. That I had literally just met. I was so desperate to be out I just clung on to the first knight in shining armor to show up,” she wrote. As a result, Dykstra claims her career is over- blacklisted by the ex, and a female colleague who she does not name either.
She describes her ex as ” obsessed with celebrity, being famous, famous people” who had a fear that she would one day talk publicly about how she was treated. “But I’m done protecting him at the expense of my own mental health.”
Chloe says all of this left her demoralized, mentally and physically, lost, withdrawn, and at times suicidal.
Legendary Entertainment, which currently owns the Nerdist brand after a 2012 acquisition released as statement distancing themselves from Hardwick after the allegations came to light. “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,” Legendary Entertainment said in a statement. “The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation.”
The article in Medium talks about a need for closure after years of abuse. A tweet posted earlier today shows Dykstra feeling like she’s on the way to getting it.
I quietly posted an article today, unlisted on Medium. It clearly made the rounds. I’m overwhelmed and I want to thank all of you for your support and kind words- they mean so much to me. I may take some time off the internet, please know your support means everything to me.
— Chloe Dykstra (@skydart) June 15, 2018