E! host Morgan Stewart, who is married to her former “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” co-star Brendan Fitzpatrick, is being accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a top executive at the network for more than two years, multiple sources told Page Six. The executive, Bryce Kristensen, is also married.
“I think the whole company knows,” a source at NBC Universal told Page Six. “It was brought to the attention of [human resources] by multiple people because the behavior was so obvious.” Stewart and Kristensen have both denied the allegations.
A separate source, who worked at E!, said employees began to notice flirtatious office behavior between Stewart, 30, and Kristensen, 35, as early as late 2016.
“[Morgan] would throw her arms around [Bryce] in conference room meetings,” said the source, who witnessed the behavior firsthand. “She would even throw up her legs on his desk, as well as on his legs.”
Kristensen would allegedly laugh off Stewart’s advances, and attempt to downplay the rumors. But the rumblings only grew louder when Stewart and Kristensen’s out-of-office interactions became in-office chatter.
According to a third source, who worked with Kristensen, Stewart and Kristensen had playful banter online.
“We saw them interacting on social media in ways that we know mean flirting in this day and age, low-key things that aren’t something you do with a co-worker,” the source said. “So, that’s how a few of us caught on to it.”
In a March 2017 post, Stewart tagged Kristensen in a photo of herself bending over in front of the camera with the caption, “Just making so many more best friends @brycekristensen.” He responded, “Please. Keep the harassment/language claims to a minimum.”
Another source added that there was also a “pattern of behavior of liking a photo, but then that like would seemingly disappear a few weeks later on most of her photos.”
“We would look into this because there [were] always rumors about this,” the source said. “[Bryce] would also seemingly never like photos that included her and Brendan, her husband.”
A separate insider said Kristensen liked comments left under Stewart’s photos that said “hot,” which the source said is “inappropriate as a boss.”
A source at NBC Universal also said they were told assistants at E! suspected that something might have been going on between them when the pair would allegedly coordinate their hotel room stays. Another source close to the situation denied that Stewart and Kristensen ever stayed in the same hotel room together.
All of this information propelled multiple people at the company to report Stewart and Kristensen to human resources. And after several E! employees came forward, the company reportedly decided to open an internal investigation.
E! would not confirm the investigation or whether they spoke to Kristensen and Stewart in relation to the rumors, but a spokesperson said in a statement to Page Six, “While we will not be commenting on this matter, E! takes all allegations of inappropriate behavior seriously, investigates accordingly and takes appropriate action.”
An NBC Universal source alleged that Stewart and Kristensen denied having an improper relationship when confronted and that the investigation was temporarily dismissed.
“I think it was endemic of a problem at E!,” the source said. “You have two married people at a company in this #MeToo environment with a bunch of young millennial women working there — it sends a horrible message.”
A separate source agreed that seeing Stewart and Kristensen continuing to work there for months despite internal rumors sent the wrong message.
“There are women that do feel uncomfortable working there — not because of Bryce — but it seems like protecting people who seem valuable is more important than protecting the culture or individual team members,” the source said.
Sources said the inappropriate relationship between Stewart and Kristensen allegedly continued, and the investigation was reopened. It was allegedly held over a two-week period. Multiple sources said Kristensen was let go in January, but a source close to the situation said this was “completely unrelated to any alleged relationship.”
Page Six asked Kristensen about the allegations, to which he responded, “Morgan and I have been friends and colleagues for years, and nothing more than that.”
As of Wednesday, Stewart continues to host two shows on the network.
“It’s really hypocritical because she’s on air talking about Khloé [Kardashian] and Tristan [Thompson] and other affairs in the news, and for people who have knowledge about the situation, it’s just, like, ‘Her? Really?’” a source said. “It’s not a good look for the company.”
E! confirmed that Stewart “remains a part of the E! News team and co-host of ‘Nightly Pop,’” despite the allegations.
Stewart started her career at E! as a reality star on “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” in 2014, but has since become a permanent fixture on the network and its social channels.
In 2018, she was named the host of E!’s Snapchat show, “What the Fashion,” which was run by Kristensen. Last year, Stewart was also named the host of “E! News: Daily Pop” and her own late-night talk show, “Nightly Pop.”
According to LinkedIn, Kristensen had been at E! since November 2010. For nine years, he rose through the ranks from the manager of digital media to head of E!’s digital content lab and vice president of digital development and production at E! News. In 2018, he was named in AdAge’s “40 Under 40.”
On social media, Stewart and her husband have not shown signs of any marital problems, even wishing each other a happy Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. In May 2016, E! cameras were present when Stewart and Fitzpatrick tied the knot on “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.”
In response to the allegations, Stewart told Page Six, “Bryce and I have known each other since the beginning of my career and have been nothing more than friends and colleagues. I look forward to moving past these hurtful rumors and innuendo. As for Brendan and I, we remain happily married.”
Fitzpatrick did not respond to requests for comment.