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Music festival pulls comedian Chris Hardwick following abuse allegations

Posted: 10:27 AM, Jun 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-16 18:38:45Z

SAN DIEGO — An music festival in California has pulled comedian Chris Hardwick from its comedy lineup, a day after abuse allegations surfaced against the comedian and TV personality.

The KAABOO Festival, scheduled to take place Sept. 14-16 in Del Mar, California, announced Hardwick would no longer appear on its "Humor Me" comedy lineup Saturday.

On Friday, Hardwick's ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra wrote an article appearing on Medium chronicling years of abuse, including sexual assault, by her former boyfriend. Dykstra never specifically named Hardwick, instead referring to her ex as a someone who went from a "mildly successful podcaster to a powerhouse CEO of his own company."

Shortly after the article published, Hardwick issued a statement to Deadline  denying he ever sexually assaulted Dykstra:

“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond. I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post. 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."

Dykstra's article detailed a relationship that saw restrictions on her appearance, speaking, and having male friends. The actress says her relationship with her ex-boyfriend included several instances of emotional and sexual assault.

She also claimed that after she left her ex, he and a female colleague set out to destroy her career.

"Because of my leaving him for someone else, he made calls to several companies I received regular work from to get me fired by threatening to never work with them. He succeeded. I was blacklisted. With the assistance of a woman who’d gained my trust and my heart over the past year, he steamrolled my career," Dykstra wrote .

The allegations soon prompted Nerdist.com, the website Hardwick founded, to distance themselves from him by scrubbing his name and references from their website:

"Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with the Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017. He no longer had any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks. The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original founder of Nerdist pending further investigation."

KAABOO Del Mar has not said what comedy act will replace Hardwick's set, which was scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14. A replacement act "will be announced shortly," according to the festival .

The host of the popular AMC's "The Walking Dead" aftershow, "Talking Dead," Hardwick is a regular at San Diego Comic-Con International. He is scheduled to moderate BBC's "Doctor Who" panel in Hall H at this year's convention.