Actress Chloe Dykstra dated Chris Hardwick (founder of the website Nerdist, current host of an NBC game show and AMC talk show) for three years—and she wrote a first-person post on Medium this week detailing a controlling relationship with an unnamed partner that was rife with sexual and emotional abuse. Many speculated she was talking about Hardwick, and now Hardwick himself has responded, saying he is "blindsided" and "heartbroken" about the allegations, reports Deadline. Their relationship "was not perfect" and frequently filled with arguments, he says, "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.” In her post, Dykstra writes that her ex was a much older, "mildly successful podcaster" (she's now 29, Hardwick 46) who started laying out rules as soon as they started dating.
She had to keep her evenings open for him, not drink alcohol, and not speak in public, among others. She says she felt forced to take a job at his firm and adds "[I] let him sexually assault me" after he reminded her his previous relationship had ended due to a lack of sex. For that reason, she says, she gave into sex whenever he wanted it, though she sometimes just "laid there for him" and cried during it. "He called it 'starfishing.' He thought the whole idea was funny," she notes. She adds she had an ectopic pregnancy she had to terminate, and his first question to the doctor post-surgery was: "When do you think I can have sex with her again?" After she left him, she says her ex blacklisted her from work and she became suicidal. She's doing much better now, though she says she never got "closure." Since Dykstra's piece broke, Nerdist has scrubbed its site of Hardwick's name. More from Dykstra here. (Read more sexual assault stories.)