In June, actress Chloe Dykstra published a lengthy essay in which she accused an ex-boyfriend of sexually and emotionally abusing her while they were together, and while she didn’t give the man’s name, it was clear from references to him being a “successful podcaster” and “powerhouse CEO of his own company” that Dykstra was referring to Chris Hardwick. He denied the allegations, but the quick backlash against him hit hard enough that Hardwick suffered very small and brief consequences, including missing out on some Comic-Con appearances and temporarily losing his Talking Dead gig to Yvette Nicole Brown (a gig he has since gotten back).
Posting the accusations wasn’t the end for Dykstra, though, because—as she predicted in her essay—she has since been hit with a backlash of her own from Hardwick’s fans and the usual sort of people who feel the need to say awful stuff to all women on the internet. In an interview with Time (via Refinery29), Dykstra touched on the difficulties that accusers face in today’s world, since nobody really knows the best way to live your life once you’ve publicly accused a famous man of being abusive. “After months of reading horrible things about myself,” Dykstra told Time, “I got to such a low point that I considered ending it.” She adds that she “didn’t really have guidance” after she posted her essay because “you can’t really Google, ‘How to handle being an accuser.’”
The rest of the Time story is about how activists in the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements are trying to change that, with Time’s Up having already set up a $21 million legal fund to help protect women from harassment and assault.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.