Chris Hardwick’s Ex-Girlfriend Accuses Him of Sexual/Emotional Abuse

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Television and podcast host Chris Hardwick has been accused of emotional and sexual abuse by ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra.

Dykstra published an essay titled “Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession” on the website Medium, with trigger warnings for abuse, sexual assault, and anorexia. She published the essay as “Unlisted,” but it had been widely shared by Thursday night. Though Dykstra doesn’t name her abuser in the essay, readers quickly identified its subject as Hardwick, based on details that specifically fit their public relationship from 2011 to 2014. For example, she writes:

“I watched and supported him as he grew from a mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company.”

She also references how he didn’t allow her to drink since he was sober. Hardwick has been open about his prior alcoholism and says he quit drinking in 2003.

Here are just a few of the troubling accusations made against Hardwick in the essay:

  • He established a series of rules, restricting who she could be friends with and speak to in public.
  • He sexually abused her. She was expected to be ready for sex whenever he came home and suggested he would dump her if she didn’t succumb.
  • He isolated her and made her feel like a prisoner. She shared a photo of herself after losing a dangerous amount of weight and said she “drifted through life like a ghost.”
  • And, finally, after breaking up with him, she claims he steamrolled her career, getting companies she worked with to fire her.

Dykstra also accuses a female colleague of Hardwick’s of working to ruin her career and friendships. We’re seeing rumors that this person is producer and host Michele Morrow, but it’s important to note that Dykstra has not specifically accused her of anything and these reports are unconfirmed.

The overarching theme of the essay is the pain of being with someone who’s emotionally abusive, and how difficult it can be to leave them. She recounts a story of Hardwick sleeping in a cot at the foot of her bed after she had surgery, and this reassured her that he loved her. But then, his first question to the doctor was “when do you think I can have sex with her again?” and the hope dissipated.

At the end of the essay, she writes a postscript “to the man who ruined my future,” imploring him not to sue, as she has audio & video proof of many of the things she wrote about. She also says a heartfelt apology could have done so much good.


Condemnation online of Hardwick’s alleged behavior has been swift. Scott Weinberg said he will no longer write for Nerdist, even though Hardwick no longer runs day-to-day operations for the company.

Cher Martinetti tweeted:

Writer Beth Elderkin said:


Fans are calling for Hardwick to be removed as the moderator for San Diego Comic-Con’s Doctor Who panel, which will feature the cast of the new season, including Jodie Whittaker, the first female doctor in the franchise.

Chloe Dykstra tweeted thanks to her supporters on Friday morning. It reads:

Many on Twitter are hoping to fend off a backlash against Nerdist, the theater and podcast network that Hardwick started, and that he sold years ago to Legendary Entertainment. Nerdist has scrubbed its site of any references to Hardwick, and has released a statement to Twitter, which reads:

Legendary Entertainment also released a statement, which reads:

“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.”

As of now, neither Hardwick nor his wife Lydia Hearst have made any public comment.

Are you guys fans of Chris Hardwick? Are you going to stop following him now that he’s been outed as an emotional abuser? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter @WhatsTrending.

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