Chloe Dykstra, TV personality, actress, cosplayer, and the ex-girlfriend of Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead, Nerdist), penned a long and emotional letter addressing the long-term emotional and sexual abuse that she suffered while dating a man from 2012-2014. She does not name any names in her essay, but Dykstra is clearly talking about Hardwick, whom she dated during that period of time. Dykstra is now 29-years old and says that her boyfriend at the time was nearly 20 years older than her when they were dating, which also points to the Nerdist CEO.
According to her essay, Chloe Dykstra struggled for years about going public with her story to give her a sense of closure. Even when the #MeToo and Time's Up movements were gaining momentum, she didn't feel like she was ready, and after reading her account of her relationship with Chris Hardwick, it makes it easy to see why. Dykstra alleges that Hardwick was emotionally abusive right from the start of their relationship. He reportedly told her that she was not allowed to talk to men or have close male friends unless they were people that she worked with. She explains.
"I was to not have close male friends unless we worked together. All photos of male friends were to be removed from my apartment. This was heartbreaking for me, as my best friend happened to be male."
Chloe Dykstra says that the controlling behavior started at the beginning, but she attributed it to the fact that Chris Hardwick had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. He forbade her from going out at night, she had a strict curfew, she was not allowed to drink alcohol, she could not take pictures of him (until later, but still had to ask permission), and was not allowed to speak while they were in public. Dykstra says that she was supposed to be ready for him and only him when he got home from work, no matter if she were sick or not.
Chloe Dykstra also alleges that she had to not only be ready for him emotionally and follow his strict rules, but also sexually. He explained to her early in their relationship that lack of sex could end their romance. So, she would often just lay there for him, often in tears or sick, while he was able to get what he needed. She also alleges that he would joke about the arrangement. Dykstra had this to say.
"Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears. He called it star fishing. He thought the whole idea was funny. To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him. I'm still recovering from being sexually used (not in a super fun way) for three years."
The essay goes into much further detail and Chloe Dykstra admits that all of long-term emotional and sexual abuse started to have physical effects on her body. She lost 15 pounds in a few weeks and began to tear out her hair due to stress, which led her to covering it up with extensions. In the end, she lost her career and was blacklisted after she left Chris Hardwick for another man. She has bounced back in the past 4 years, but obviously, she has a form of post-traumatic stress from her relationship with Hardwick. It should also be noted that several people have come forward online to allege controlling behavior from Chris Hardwick as well. You can read the entire essay by Chloe Dykstra over at Medium.