Fox News host Eric Bolling is suing a reporter for $50 million over story about sexual harassment allegations
Fox News host Eric Bolling filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against a HuffPost writer after revelations he was accused of sending lewd text messages to colleagues were published last week.
Court filings from the New York State Supreme Court reveal that Yashar Ali, a HuffPost contributing writer, was issued a summons notice to appear in court. Bolling is seeking $50 million in damages.
"The nature of this action is for damages and injunctive relief based on defamation arising from the defendant's efforts to injure the plaintiff's reputation through the intentional and/or highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about the plaintiff's conduct and character," read the court notice.
Bolling was suspended from Fox News after being accused of sending unsolicited photos of male genitalia to several colleagues at various departments over a span of several years. The allegations, first brought to light by Ali's report, cited a dozen sources.
"Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway," Fox News said in a statement emailed to Business Insider on Saturday.
Ali appeared to be undeterred by the notice or the veracity of his report, tweeting that he would "stand by my reporting" and "protect my sources."
"Not going to stop reporting on Eric Bolling or anyone else," Ali tweeted. "I've had family members killed/jailed in Iran, a lawsuit isn't going to scare me."
Ali also noted that the summons notice did not include HuffPost as a defendant: "It's important to note that Bolling's summons does not include HuffPost - he is coming after me personally," Ali tweeted.
Following the allegations, Caroline Heldman, a former Fox News contributor, explained in a Facebook post that Bolling's conduct was "wildly inappropriate for years."
"Once, he took me up to his office in New York, showed me his baseball jerseys, and in the brief time I was there, let me know that his office was his favorite place to have sex," Heldman recounted.
After being suspended, Bolling said that he was "overwhelmed by all the support."
"I look forward to clearing my name asap," he tweeted Monday.
As Ali's court notice began circulating on Wednesday, Bolling also tweeted: "I will continue to fight against these false smear attacks! THANK YOU FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT."
Neither HuffPost, nor its parent company, Oath were immediately available for comment.
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