“E! News” host Jason Kennedy’s wife defended him Thursday after Catt Sadler announced Tuesday she was leaving the show after discovering her co-host made nearly double her salary.
Lauren Scruggs, 29, wrote in a lengthy Instagram post that her husband’s name was “being dragged through the mud” despite him having nothing to do with the pay gap. Scruggs also mentioned Kennedy’s former co-host, Giuliana Rancic, made “3 times his salary.”
“I believe in female empowerment and gender equality, but it’s heartbreaking that a network is being deemed sexist when that is simply not true,” Scruggs wrote.
"Women are paid accordingly on this network, and the difference in his salary versus hers did not affect Jason. He knows there are always more components to consider when determining one’s salary than gender alone,” she continued.
Scruggs continued that current and former female E! employees have contacted the couple the past few days and told them they “never felt gender inequality was at play at any time.”
Scruggs concluded that she loved her husband and said he was the most “tender-hearted & respectful person.”
“Jason is the most tender-hearted & respectful person and it’s so sad to see him unfairly publicly shamed. His name has been dragged through the mud regarding nothing he did, except be a great friend & colleague. It absolutely breaks my heart to watch, & it is devastating & frustrating to see how this all played out,” she wrote.
Kennedy thanked his wife for the post on Twitter.
Scruggs, a fashion blogger, and Kennedy have been married since 2014. She suffered a tragic incident in 2011 when she lost her left eye and arm after she stepped out of a plane and was “sucked” into the propeller.
"On December 3rd, 2011, my mom and I decided to go to our friends house for dinner after church — their house is located on a private airport — and one of the friends was taking people up for plane rides,” Scruggs told US Weekly. “I’m always up for an adventure so I was the first in line. When the plane landed, it was dark and rainy outside and I was getting out of the plane and when you get out you’re basically at the propeller, so I was sucked into it when I stepped out."
Three years following the terrifying incident she met Kennedy through Rancic after she did an interview with the former “E! News” host. Rancic told Scruggs to ask Kennedy for places to hike and the two immediately clicked, People reported.
“An accident 3 years ago was the worst day of her life. Ironically her worst day became the best day of my life, if [it] didn't happen we wouldn't have met,” Kennedy said.
Sadler did not immediately comment on Scruggs Instagram post but the former E! News host urged fans not to blame Kennedy for her departure.
“If I had one ask, it is to please not place blame on my friend Jason Kennedy,” Sadler wrote. “He has done right by me in every respect. It hurts me deeply to see that some are vilifying him,” she added. “I repeat, his hands are tied on this matter and if you’re angry – rightfully so – direct that emotion at the decision makers who failed us, not him. All my love + gratitude.”