Who is Thomas Middleditch? 'Silicon Valley' star accused of 'groping' women at LA club after 'swinging' scandal
Middleditch claimed in 2019 that 'swinging' had saved his marriage, and was divorced a few months later by his wife of five years
Canadian actor and comedian Thomas Middleditch, better recognized as Richard Hendricks on the HBO series 'Silicon Valley', has been accused of sexual misconduct by Hannah Harding, a woman whom he allegedly 'groped' in front of her friends and several employees at the 'Cloak & Dagger' nightclub in Los Angeles. Harding's complaint about the incident, which took place on October 22, 2019, was ignored by the club co-founders Adam Bravin and Michael Patterson at the time, as she claims, "I felt like they dismissed it. I told Adam that he needed to listen, that this was not OK." While speaking to Los Angeles Times, Harding additionally alleged that she saw Middleditch grope another woman in the club after she complained.
Harding also showed Instagram direct messages from Middleditch sent later, that said, "Hannah I had no idea my actions were that weird for you ... I know you probably want to just put me on blast as a monster ... I don’t expect you to want to be my friend or anything ... I am so ashamed I made you uncomfortable.” The entire incident came to light after the goth-themed nightclub in McCadden Place faced multiple allegations of ignoring the rampant sexual misconduct among members.
Who is Thomas Middleditch?
Known for his roles in 'Silicon Valley', 'B Positive', and 'Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero', thirty-nine-year-old Thomas Middleditch is a Canadian actor, comedian, and screenwriter. He was born on March 10, 1982, in Nelson, British Columbia, to British parents.
Middleditch's interest in acting sprouted in grade eight when he was cast in a play at school. He later revealed that the play changed him from a bullied, indoorsy kid to a funny, popular high school kid. He learned improv in school while performing with Theatresports.
Later, Middleditch pursued a degree in theatre at the University of Victoria. Afterward, he relocated to Chicago and took theater classes while also performing professionally alongside. His first notable break came when he landed an audition for 'Saturday Night Live'. Though he was not cast ultimately, it helped propel him towards better opportunities.
His movie debut happened in the 2009 rom-com 'Splinterheads', as the lead role of Justin Frost. After a series of appearances in popular TV series or hit movies, Middleditch joined the cast of HBO's 'Silicon Valley' in 2013. He went on to star in movies like 'Search Party', 'The Final Girls', 'Bronze' and the Scorcese classic - 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.
For his work, he has earned four Satellite Awards nominations, two Critics' Choice TV Award nominations, and one Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
Sexual misconduct allegations against him
On October 22, 2019, Middleditch allegedly approached Hannah Harding at the dance floor in the 'black room' of the goth LA nightclub 'Cloak & Dagger'. He then made "lewd sexual overtures" toward her and her girlfriend. When Harding turned him down, Middleditch kept on pursuing her, and went to the extent of groping her in front of her friends and some of the club employees.
Kate Morgan, the then operations manager at the club, noticed the incident and asked her bosses to kick Middleditch out and ban him from the establishment. However, the club authorities did not take the complaint seriously and dismissed her.
After Harding complained, she spotted Middleditch grope another woman, but even then no action was taken. The club co-owner Bravin reached out to her a week later, to tell her that she must have been mistaken about the incident. Claiming that the co-founders did not trust her story in the first place, Harding said, "They cared more about famous people at their club than women’s safety."
Did 'swinging' end Middleditch's marriage with Mollie Gates in 2020?
Middleditch had been married to costume designer Mollie Gates since June 2015. However, the couple's relationship ended in an ugly divorce after his controversial 2019 interview with Playboy.
In September 2019, he revealed in the interview that after getting married, he asked his wife to get "non-traditional".
"To her credit, instead of saying ‘F**k you, I’m out,’ she was like, ‘Let’s figure this out'," he said, adding, "To be honest, swinging has saved our marriage."
When asked about his concerns that his shocking revelation might make him a representative of swingers, Middleditch said, "I would be honored to be the face of something. I don’t give a f**k, but my wife is more private, so I have to juggle that.” Though Middleditch later regretted opening up about their private life in public.
A few months later, in May 2020, the couple separated after five years of marriage, as Gates filed for divorce, citing 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason.