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Chloe Dykstra Details Alleged Sexual and Emotional Abuse at the Hands of an Ex-Boyfriend Believed to Be Chris Hardwick

The #MeToo Movement comes for fanboy-in-chief Chris Hardwick.

chloe dysktra chris hardwick

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED: Some tweets originally featured in the article have been removed at the request of one of the account holders.

In a harrowing and disturbing account, actress Chloe Dykstra writes about the alleged emotional and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. Though she doesn’t explicitly name Hardwick, it seems clear through context clues and descriptions that Chris Hardwick is the ex she is referring to. Hardwick, whose Nerdist brand and Talking Dead hosting gig have made him the mouthpiece of white male fandom, has yet to issue a statement. Dykstra’s account will feel hauntingly familiar to those who have experienced emotional abuse, as she details the control, gaslighting, and isolation techniques used against her.

Dykstra met the ex in question when she was in her early twenties, and almost immediately, she says he set a series of rules for her to follow: Dykstra was not allowed to go out at night alone, have any photos of male friends in her home, and was forbidden from drinking alcohol. (Chris Hardwick is sober). She was also not allowed to speak in public or take photos of herself or the ex, despite being in a personal relationship with him.

Dykstra was also expected to comply with his sexual demands, including several instances of alleged sexual assault over the course of their three-year relationship. Dykstra suffered a drastic weight loss, and started pulling out her own hair. Once she left him, she says he blackballed her from her industry, with help from a female associate who actively sought to destroy her career and relationships.

It’s easy to ask the question that so many will no doubt be asking: if the experience was that horrible, why did she stay? Those asking have clearly never experience manipulation, gaslighting, or emotional abuse. Dykstra details it quite clearly, saying:

“Here is my answer: I believed that, to borrow an analogy from a friend, if I kept digging I would find water. And sometimes I did. Just enough to sustain me. And when you’re dying of thirst, that water is the best water you’ll ever drink. When you’re alienated from your friends, there’s no one to tell you that there’s a drinking fountain 20 feet away. And when your self-worth reaches such depths after years of being treated like you’re worthless, you might find you think you deserve that sort of treatment, and no one else will love you.”

While toxic defenders of Hardwick have already taken to the internet in support of their golden fanboy, plenty of people are speaking out online in support of Dykstra:

Let’s hope this topples another industry abuser and paves the way for more brave women like Chloe Dykstra to speak out. Chloe, we believe you and we stand with you.


All mentions of Hardwick have been removed from The Nerdist’s About page:

(via Medium, image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.