Chloe Dykstra Considered Suicide After Accusing Chris Hardwick of Abuse
In June, Chloe Dykstra accused Chris Hardwick of abuse without naming him, describing having spent years with a controlling, emotionally abusive boyfriend.
The backlash against her was massive and impossible to miss. Any social media post by anyone on the subject was full of Hardwick’s ardent defenders.
In her first interview since coming forward, Chloe is revealing that the hate hurled at her was so much that she contemplated suicide.
Time interviewed various women who had broken their silence and shared #MeToo stories, including Chloe Dykstra.
“After months of reading horrible things about myself,” Chloe reveals. “I got to such a low point that I considered ending it.”
By ending it, she means that she considered ending her life. We are so, so thankful that she did not.
One of the factors was that she was unsure of how to cope with the backlash.
Chloe says: “I didn’t really have guidance because you can’t really Google, ‘How to handle being an accuser?'”
Though a number of celebrities and organizations distanced themselves from Hardwick, he ended up returning as host of The Talking Dead.
While some found that disappointing — especially since he is not the only man who was accused only to return to work after a short break — Chloe feels differently.
“When I found out he had gotten his jobs back,” Chloe reveals. “I was actually relieved.”
Chloe explains that she felt this way “because I knew [the online harassment] wasn’t going to stop until he was reinstated.”
That is heartbreaking to read.
Chloe shares that she was unprepared for the full weight of the response that her story elicited.
“I opened trending and saw my face,” she reveals.
It is one thing to know, intellectually, that there will be a backlash. It is another to see that you are, at that moment, the most talked about human being in the English-speaking world.
“It was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced,” Chloe says.
Her response, she describes, was pretty simple: “I was just like, ‘No, no, no.'”
“I was attacked relentlessly,” Chloe confirms.
She explains: “There was an organized group of people online whose sole purpose was to try to disprove me.”
If you happened to mention this story on social media in any context other than defending Hardwick, you probably witnessed a small sample of this for yourself.
She was worried about being doxxed, about being in danger.
Chloe shares: “I was terrified people were going to figure out where I lived.”
Internet backlash and be brutal, especially when people believe that they are defending their hero.
While some men named in #MeToo stories like Harvey Weinstein don’t have many defenders, others have diehard fans who refuse to believe what they’ve heard.
It’s been speculated that some do not really care about the truth — that they love someone’s movies or music or television show more than they care about justice.
Others, however, genuinely believe that they’re championing an innocent person. In this case, some pointed to Hardwick’s reinstatement on The Talking Dead as “proof” of his innocence.
It is worth noting that Chloe did not cooperate with network investigators, in part to protect evidence in case her story ever ends up in court, but perhaps in part because she wanted the backlash to end.