Friday, April 12, 2024

Ryan Seacrest Problems Grow: Personal Foundation Paid More Last Year in Salaries to Family Members than Grants to Charities


Ryan Seacrest is in hot water today with sexual harassment charges from a former stylist. There are reports that NBC and the E! Channel may yank from him the red carpet Oscar show on Sunday. This may prove to be the start of something bigger if ABC gets cold feet about Seacrest on “American Idol” or “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”

A couple of times in the last two years I’ve reported on Seacrest’s personal foundation, a 501 c3 that’s supposed to help children in pediatric hospitals by teaching them about media. (That’s their mission statement.)

But as I’ve reported before, the Ryan Seacrest Foundation just seems to be a way for the radio deejay and TV host to pay salaries to family members. His sister, Meredith, and dad, Gary, are the only two staff members of the foundation who receive payment.

The foundation’s Form 990 for 2016 is now available. Together Meredith and Gary made $310,603. Meredith got $208,784 plus extra compensation of $5,819– a bump up from last year of $10,000. Gary, the father, a personal injury lawyer, $96,000.

But that money for family members is MORE than the Ryan Seacrest Foundation donated to anyone with a charity. Grants from the organization only totaled $303,148.  And THAT amount was paid in equipment, not money. So the Ryan Seacrest Foundation only exists to give cash to his relatives.

It’s all in black and white. As I’ve written before, I don’t understand why Seacrest just doesn’t put his family members on his payroll. Is this just to beat taxes? Some time soon, someone is going to take a look at this.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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