Suspended Fox News host Eric Bolling is suing Yashar Ali, the author of the story that reported on Bolling’s alleged sexual harassment. After Ali published his story, Bolling was suspended by Fox News pending an investigation. Ali has been served with a summons and Bolling is suing for $50 million in damages as a result of “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.” Bolling has denied the allegations.
Bolling’s attorney, Michael Bowe, said in a statement, “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, where actual facts, based on evidence, testimony, and cross-examination, will belie these anonymous accusations.”
While Ali’s report had fourteen sources, one accuser has come forward on the record. Caroline Heldman, who Bolling called “Dr. McHottie” back in April, took to Facebook to reveal harassment by Bolling.
Bolling is suing Ali personally for the $50 million, not HuffPost that published the piece. Ali is a freelance reporter, but his work typically appears on HuffPost or New York Magazine’s website. Lydia Polgreen, the editor-in-chief of HuffPost, tweeted, “Yashar Ali is a careful and meticulous reporter. We stand by his reporting.”
“Yashar Ali is a paid freelancer under contract with HuffPost. We have no hesitation about standing by him financially in this case.”
Ali for his part seemed to take the lawsuit in stride, acting jovial with journalists on Twitter. “Just received a summons. Eric Bolling is suing me for defamation – $50 million in damages. I stand by my reporting + will protect my sources,” he first 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,” he continued. Finally, he tweeted, “Not going to stop reporting on Eric Bolling or anyone else. I’ve had family members killed/jailed in Iran, a lawsuit isn’t going to scare me.”
Several journalists on Twitter also pointed out that if the suit proceeds, Ali would have the opportunity to depose Bolling and do discovery on him, a fact Ali seemed to allude to on Twitter.
Some people are so foolish…. pic.twitter.com/IOJFjwv1u6
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 10, 2017