The Walking Dead’s after-show host Chris Hardwick has had one of his shows pulled as the network behind it investigates allegations of sexual assault against him.
AMC Networks has put the programme Talking with Chris Hardwick on hold as the television star withdrew as a moderator and from BBC America’s Comic-Con panels following the claims.
In a statement, AMC said it had a “positive relationship” with the 46-year-old Talking Dead presenter but said it took the “troubling” claims made by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra seriously.
It said Talking with Chris Hardwick would not air while it “assessed the situation”.
The investigation comes after actress and cosplayer Dykstra, 29, wrote an online post in which she said she was abused by an ex-boyfriend.
As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women
She did not name her alleged abuser in her essay on the website Medium but said he was almost 20 years older than her.
She claimed he quickly began displaying “controlling behaviour”, including not letter her speak in public, keeping her evenings free to spend with him and getting rid of close male friends.
“I was terrified to p*** him off, so I did what he said. Including let him sexually assault me. Regularly,” she wrote.
She added: “When cameras were on us? He was a prince. Turn them off, he was a nightmare.”
Hardwick denied the claims and said he was “heartbroken” by the allegations.
When cameras were on us? He was a prince. Turn them off, he was a nightmare
He told Deadline: “Our three-year relationship was not perfect – we were ultimately not a good match and argued, even shouted at each other – 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.”
The actor and comedian claimed he ended the relationship after finding out Dykstra had “cheated” on him.
He added: “I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur.
“I was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her. As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”
Following the allegations, the website Nerdist – which he founded but is no longer affiliated with – removed all references to Hardwick, saying it was “shocked” in a Twitter statement.