Henson clarified the situation with People. The confusion started on Oscars Sunday when it seemed like many stars might pass up interviews with Seacrest due to the sexual harassment complaints against him by his former personal stylist.
Henson talked to Seacrest on the red carpet, but said this during her interview:
"The universe has a way of taking care of good people. [She touched him on the chin.] "You know what I mean?"
Many fans interpreted that as a shot at Seacrest, especially when her next interview was with Wendi McLendon-Covey on ABC, and she said, "I'm great now that I'm in *your* company."
Taraji came for Ryan Seacrest's NECK because of the sexual assault allegations against him. I love this woman so much. pic.twitter.com/pfKwLRIPQc— ً (@ButeraDemetria) March 5, 2018
Watching that clip of Taraji P. Henson talking to Ryan Seacrest pic.twitter.com/RVm7DkUZP2— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) March 5, 2018
Did...Taraji just shade Ryan, live on air?— Stephanie Yeboah (@NerdAboutTown) March 5, 2018
Did anyone else catch it? 😂😂
But Henson told People she wasn't dragging Seacrest, she was trying to have his back:
"I did it to keep his chin up. It's an awkward position to be in. He's been cleared but anyone can say anything."
(There's disagreement about the clearing. E! commissioned the investigation against their own star, using outside counsel, and that investigation found insufficient evidence to support the claims of stylist Suzie Hardy. But Hardy told Variety the investigator never contacted four witnesses she had referred him to corroborate her story.)
People asked Henson directly if she was supporting Seacrest, and she replied "absolutely." It should've been clear that she was on his side by the end of her red carpet interview, when she hugged him:
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