Cosplay Star Chloe Dykstra Details Allegedly Abusive Relationship with Chris Hardwick
Dykstra, now 29, described "long-term abuse" by a man "almost 20 years my senior" when she was in her early 20s. Hardwick, almost 20 years her senior, was in a relationship with Dykstra from 2011 until 2014.
She detailed a disturbing set of rules laid down by her boyfriend, including being available to him every night, eliminating male friends from her life, giving up alcohol because he was sober, not speaking in public, and not taking photos of them together.
Dykstra also detailed her experience being pressured into taking a job at her boyfriend's company.
Furthermore, she recounted "regular" sexual assault, saying "I was expected to be ready for him when he came home from work" — even when she wasn't feeling well (which she describes as a somewhat common occurrence due to her disordered eating).
She wrote: "Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears. He called it 'starfishing.' He thought the whole idea was funny."
Dykstra also detailed her experience with an ectopic pregnancy and revealing it to her boyfriend. "My fear of his anger at me for getting pregnant was literally greater than my fear of death," she claimed.
She also revealed that upon waking up from surgery for the ectopic pregnancy, her boyfriend's first reaction was: "That's great. When do you think I can have sex with her again?"
In addition to the details of emotional and sexual abuse during their relationship, Dykstra also discussed the professional blacklisting she endured after leaving the relationship. She said the former boyfriend "made calls to several companies I received regular work from to get me fired by threatening to never work with them" — and succeeded.
She explained that the calls were made by a female co-worker whom she had once considered a "sister." Dykstra also said that the same woman had sabotaged the careers and reputations of six other women, though she did not explicitly say that those instances were on behalf of the same man.
Dykstra revealed that the circumstances left her contemplating suicide. She wrote:
One night, I found myself on top of an overpass, looking down at the 101, at the lowest point in my life. I'd lost many of my friends, the woman I'd considered my sister was trying to destroy me and I had no idea why, and the career I'd built from scratch had toppled - I was blacklisted from my industry at the age of 25.
She went on to say that she eventually got to a better place with the help of "a therapist, a psychiatrist, good people, plus a lot of hard work," but that she is ultimately speaking out now to receive closure and issue a warning about the "red flags" of abusive behaviour.
Read the full Medium piece here.
Many have taken to Twitter to identify the abusive partner in Dykstra's story as Hardwick. The comedian and TV personality has yet to publicly comment on the allegations.
See some of the responses to Dykstra's story below, as well as her own expression of gratitude for the support she's received.
I quietly posted an article today, unlisted on Medium. It clearly made the rounds. I'm overwhelmed and I want to thank all of you for your support and kind words- they mean so much to me. I may take some time off the internet, please know your support means everything to me.— Chloe Dykstra (@skydart) June 15, 2018
Walking up to news that your shitty, racist former boss who helped mainstream the toxic, self-victimization of White Male nerd culture FINALLY being outed as a garbage person by his abused ex-girlfriend is somewhat cathartic to say the least. RIP, Chris Hardwick's career.— DemiMF99 (@DemiMF99) June 15, 2018
people who use this as an opportunity to remind you chris hardwick was not funny are furthering the narrative that there is a price at which point abuse is ok, and it's when they're entertained— darcie wilder (@333333333433333) June 15, 2018
major, major TW on this for abuse, disordered eating and assault. Chris Hardwick is a monster and @skydart is brave as hell for speaking out, especially about how emotional abuse works https://t.co/U4vO9HFK9c— rachel (@rachelmillman) June 15, 2018
As someone who writes for Nerdist, let me just say...Chris Hardwick is a piece of trash and I believe women.— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) June 15, 2018
Fuck Chris Hardwick, indeed. But, who the fuck is the asshole that black listed six other women? His accomplice shouldn't just skate away unscathed either.— Devante Gordon (@Lycanvenom) June 15, 2018
Lot of people tossing around the word "celebrity" and "famous" all willy-nilly with regards to Chris Hardwick this morning. Sorry, you can't claim a woman is trying to grab fame and notoriety with accusations against a guy whose name elicits a "who?" from most people.— 🏳️🌈Jenny "Hummingbird Truther" Trout (@Jenny_Trout) June 15, 2018
Looks like Chris Hardwick isn't a loveable nerd, but a total monster. Props to Chloe Dykstra for telling her story, I can't imagine how hard it was to tell. https://t.co/vGal3Vc5cK— Shawn Dullye (@shawndullye) June 15, 2018