Fox News’ Eric Bolling has filed a defamation lawsuit against the reporter whose article accused him of sending lewd text messages to female co-workers.
That reporter, the Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali, wrote on Twitter that he received his summons August 9, adding that Bolling wants $50 million in damages due to defamation brought forth from the article.
Ali said that Bolling’s lawsuit is directed at him personally — not the Huffington Post — and vowed to continue reporting the same way he has been, despite the lawsuit.
Ali’s article accused Bolling of sexually harassing female colleagues at the news network, and multiple women have since come forward with similar accusations since its August 5 publication.
Notably, Bolling is being represented in the lawsuit by Michael J. Bowe of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres LLP., the same firm that’s President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.
“That nature of this action is for damages and injunctive relief based on defamation arising from the (Ali’s) efforts to injure (Bolling’s) reputation through the intentional and/or highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about (Bolling’s) conduct and character,” the lawsuit alleges.
Read the lawsuit in the court document below:
In the Huffington Post article, Ali wrote that “a dozen sources” told him current and former colleagues at Fox News had Bolling send them lewd photos of male genitalia. That happened “to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News,” the article said. That’s in addition from saying sexually-harassing things to them, the sources told Ali.
One of those accusers is Caroline Heldman, who was a frequent contributor on Fox News between 2008 and 2011. She took to Twitter following Ali’s report to say Bolling was one of at least three Fox News employees that sexually harassed her during her time appearing on the network. The other two, she claims, were former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and current consultant Woody Fraser.
“I did hundreds of appearances on Fox and Fox Business from 2008 – 2011, and had multiple experiences with Bolling that caused grave concern to my friends and family,” Heldman wrote in a Facebook post. “Bolling referred to me as ‘Dr. McHottie’ on air on four different occasions, and called me ‘smart, beautiful, and wrong’ on air twice.”
Less than 24 hours after the accusations, Fox News announced it suspended Bolling indefinitely, saying it’s investigating the matter.
“Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to HuffPost.
Bolling has vehemently denied the accusations, with his Bowe speaking on his behalf and saying in a statement to the Huffington Post: “Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”
Ali has 20 days to take action on the lawsuit, which he’s vowed to fight.