Fox Host Sues Reporter for $50M Over Dirty Pic Claim

He refers to 'false smear attacks' in tweet
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2017 7:36 AM CDT
Eric Bolling appears on Fox News' "The Five" in 2015.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – Suspended Fox News host Eric Bolling is hitting back against allegations he sent an unsolicited photo of a penis to female colleagues. On Wednesday, Bolling filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against reporter Yashar Ali, whose Huffington Post story cited 14 sources as confirming the photo was sent by Bolling to three colleagues at Fox Business and Fox News, per the Hollywood Reporter. Fox suspended Bolling on Saturday as it began an investigation into the allegations, described in a court summons as having "substantially harmed" Bolling. The summons also accuses Ali of "reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about the plaintiff’s conduct and character," reports HuffPost, whom the summons doesn't name.

In a Wednesday tweet, Ali says this shows Bolling "is coming after me personally," adding, "I stand by my reporting + will protect my sources." HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen also took to Twitter Wednesday to note that Ali has the company's full support. "Ali is a careful and meticulous reporter. We stand by his reporting" and "have no hesitation about standing by him financially in this case," Polgreen says. Bolling, a co-host of The Specialists, later tweeted, "I will continue to fight against these false smear attacks!" His lawyer, meanwhile, tells CNNMoney, "This anonymously sourced and uncorroborated story is false, defamatory, and obviously intended to destroy this good man's career and family. We will defend Eric aggressively in court." (Read more Eric Bolling stories.)

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