Ryan Seacrest: Kelly Ripa Lends Her Support to Accused Co-Host on Live

Kelly Ripa took a moment Thursday to let everyone know exactly how she feels about her Live With Kelly and Ryan co-star Ryan Seacrest, who recently was accused of sexual harassment and assault by a former co-worker.

“I just want to let you know that you are a privilege to work with, and I adore you. And I am speaking on behalf of all of us here,” she said during the broadcast. “I know what an easy, great, professional person you are, and I feel very, very lucky to work with you each and every day. We all do.”

Seacrest, who appeared moved by her declaration, thanked her and hugged her. “You are happiness,” he said.

Their conversation began with a discussion of Seacrest’s hosting of E!’s Oscars red carpet pre-show this Sunday.

In a story published earlier this week by our sister pub Variety, Suzie Hardy — who served as his personal stylist for E! News from 2007 to 2013 — accused Seacrest of multiple incidents of sexual harassment and assault. And on Wednesday, an anonymous male colleague of Hardy’s corroborated her allegations, telling NBC News, “She would go to tie his shoe and Ryan would shove her head toward his crotch. I saw that more than once.”

A month ago, the cable network announced that an independent investigator hired to look into Hardy’s claims found “insufficient evidence” of wrongdoing on Seacrest’s part.

Press PLAY on the video above — the conversation in question begins around the 15:40 mark — and then hit the comments with your thoughts!