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Taraji P. Henson explains that red carpet incident with Ryan Seacrest

The actress said her exchange with the E! host at the Oscars was misinterpreted.

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson "absolutely" supports Ryan Seacrest, the actress clarified to People. Photo Credit: MIKE NELSON/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

No, Taraji P. Henson did not give the “kiss of death” to E! host Ryan Seacrest at Sunday night’s 90th Academy Awards.

That denial, from the “Empire” star herself, went against speculation she might have “cursed” Seacrest when she met him on the red carpet and told him, “The universe has a way of taking care of the good people.”

The exchange, which aired on “E! Live From the Red Carpet” before the Oscars ceremony, prompted a wave of reactions on social media, many interpreting the 47-year-old’s statement as a veiled criticism of Seacrest, 43, who last year was accused of misconduct by his former stylist Suzie Hardy.

An E! investigation found “insufficient evidence to support the claims” and the network went ahead and kept him on the red carpet — a decision they defended in the days leading up to Hollywood’s night of nights. Last Thursday, his “Live with Kelly and Ryan” co-host Kelly Ripa came out strongly in support of him.

And, in fact, Henson too “absolutely” supports Seacrest, explaining to People magazine that she gestured at the host’s chin as he spoke “to keep his chin up.” She went on to say of the harassment case, “It’s an awkward position to be in. He’s been cleared but anyone can say anything.”

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