The latest report of men behaving badly in the offices of Fox News has led to a $50 million defamation suit against the reporter of the article that broke the news.
Eric Bolling, co-host of “The Fox News Specialists," initiated a lawsuit Wednesday against Huffington Post contributing writer Yashar Ali for his story on Friday claiming Bolling sent lewd texts to female colleagues. Bolling was temporarily suspended pending an internal investigation into the allegations.
“This anonymously sourced and uncorroborated story is false, defamatory, and obviously intended to destroy this good man’s career and family,” Bolling’s lawyer, Michael J. Bowe, said in a statement to The Washington Times. “We will defend Eric aggressively in court, where actual facts, based on evidence, testimony, and cross-examination, will belie these anonymous accusations.”
Ali’s story cites 14 anonymous sources corroborating the allegations against Bolling.
“I stand by my reporting and will protect my sources, especially the victims, at all costs," Ali said in a statement to Politico. The Huffington Post says it stands by Ali’s reporting.
Ali has 20 days to respond to the summons to demand Bolling file an official complaint, after which Bolling must file a response within 20 days before the lawsuit can proceed.
Allegations against Bolling come months after sexual harassment allegations forced “O’Reilly Factor” host Bill O’Reilly and Fox chairman Roger Ailes to leave the company. Fox’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, recently agreed to pay $20 million to former Fox host Gretchen Carlson after she sued Ailes for sexual harassment.
O’Reilly was forced out earlier this year after a number of sexual harassment suits were filed against him, including one in which O’Reilly agreed to pay $9 million former producer Andrea Mackris. The New York Times reported in April that Fox News had settled five sexual harassment lawsuits against O’Reilly dating back to 2002.