Eric Bolling, the Fox News host accused of sending unsolicited pictures of his genitalia to female colleagues, has sued the journalist who made the accusation and the publication that ran the story, the Washington Post is reporting.
Last week, Huffington Post writer Yashar Ali wrote, based on over a dozen”anonymous sources, that Bolling had sent unsolicited photos of his genitalia to his female colleagues at Fox Business and Fox News a number of years ago. At least four other people, not the intended recipients, also allegedly received the photos.
In the same article, Ali mentioned that Bolling had criticized New York congressman Anthony Weiner for his own involvement in a “sexting” controversy. When Weiner pleaded guilty earlier this year to sending “obscene material” to an underage girl, Bolling called Weiner a “sick human being.”
Calling the accusations “highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about the plaintiff’s conduct and character,” Bolling filed suit Wednesday morning in New York State Court.
Although the Washington Post claims that Huffington Post was named in the lawsuit, Ali claimed otherwise in a tweet.
It’s important to note that Bolling’s summons does not include HuffPost – he is coming after me personally. I’m a big boy…but very telling https://t.co/nvludsIV87
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 9, 2017
Bolling, co-host of the weekday program, “The Fox News Specialists,” has been suspended from the network pending an investigation, which the network claimed in a statement is under way.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 5, 2017
Ali, for his part, promised to stand by his story.
Bolling has hired the law firm of Kasowitz Benson Torres, whose chief partner, Marc E. Kasowitz, has been a lawyer for Donald Trump and has even been involved in Trump’s legal team contesting the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump’s lawyer, Marc kasowitz, reveals CIA once heard R. Mueller say on the phone he didn’t care for golf. pic.twitter.com/VMK8JrPylK
— John Einar Funck (@EinarFunck) August 8, 2017
So does Bolling have a case? As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the legal standard of defamation is a difficult one to meet in court. And with Bolling being a public figure, the standard is even harder to meet. In essence, Bolling would have to prove that Ali either a) knew his sources or lying; or b) proceeded with “reckless disregard for the truth.” Whether or not Bolling will be able to prove that will be seen in court, assuming the two sides don’t settle before the matter goes before a jury.
This is not the first time Fox News had been caught up in allegations of sexual misconduct by its male employees. Bill O’Reilly, who had been with the network for 15 years, had been ousted over claims of sexual misconduct, and Fox Business Network host Charles Payne had been suspended for similar accusations.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew, File/AP]