A suspended Fox News host accused of sexually harassing colleagues is now suing the HuffPost reporter who broke the news.
Eric Bolling filed suit Wednesday against Yashar Ali for damage to his reputation and other claims worth over $ 50 million.
Bolling’s accusations were only addressed in a summons in Manhattan Supreme Court. More details are typically included in a criminal complaint, which has not yet been filed.
Ali, a contributor to the site, reported last week that Bolling sent a text of male genitalia to two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News.
The network suspended Bolling following the report and said it was investigating the matter.
“Just received a summons. Eric Bolling is suing me for defamation — $ 50 million in damages. I stand by my reporting + will protect my sources,” Ali tweeted.
“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.”
Ali went on to say he is not intimidated by Bolling.
“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.”
The suit was filed by Michael Bowe, an attorney at the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres. A call to Bowe wasn’t returned.
The firm’s principal, Marc Kasowitz, is President Trump’s longtime lawyer.
The summons accuses Ali of “reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about the plaintiff’s conduct and character.”
“This anonymously sourced and uncorroborated story is false, defamatory, and obviously intended to destroy this good man’s career and family,” Bowe said.
Court documents said Bolling was “substantially harmed” by publication of the story.
Editors at the website stood by the story.
“Yashar Ali is a careful and meticulous reporter,” tweeted Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen. “We stand by his reporting.”
She said Ali’s story had 14 sources.
“Yashar Ali is a paid freelancer under contract with HuffPost,” Polgreen added.
“We have no hesitation about standing by him financially in this case.”
Fox has been hit by a series of lawsuits against former network CEO Roger Ailes and former anchor Bill O’Reilly.
Onetime host Gretchen Carlson sent shock waves throughout the media in July 2016 with a suit against the network and Ailes alleging she was terminated for “refusing Ailes’ sexual advances.” Weeks later, Ailes left, ending a 20-year run. He died in May at age 77.
O’Reilly left the network in April after stories surfaced about sexual harassment lawsuits that were settled by Fox on his behalf for up to $ 13 million.
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