2017-08-09 22:50:20 UTC
Recently suspended Fox News host Eric Bolling is suing journalist
Yashar Ali for defamation and is seeking $50 million in damages.
The lawsuit comes just days after Ali wrote a story for HuffPost
claiming more than a dozen sources told him Bolling sent "an
unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two
colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News."
Fox News suspended Bolling the next day amid an investigation into
Ali wrote on Twitter Wednesday that he has received a summons from
Bolling, and says he stands by his reporting and will protect his
sources. In the initial story, Ali says he spoke to 14 sources on
the condition of anonymity because they either currently work at the
networks, can't speak to press without permission or signed
The summons, which was filed Wednesday in New York state court, says
Bolling is seeking both damages and injunctive relief arising from
Ali's efforts to injure his reputation through "intentional and/or
highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading
statements" about his conduct and character.
HuffPost issued a statement in response to the summons: "Yashar Ali
is a careful and meticulous reporter. We stand by his reporting.
The outlet did not respond to a question about whether it will
assist Ali with his legal defense even though it is not named in the
Because Bolling is a public figure, to succeed on a defamation claim
he'll have to prove Ali either knew the information was false or
acted with reckless disregard for the truth. He's retained Michael
Bowe and Ronald Rossi from Kasowitz Benson Torres the firm whose
name partner Marc Kasowitz reps president Donald Trump. The firm
also has ties to ousted Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
In addition to HuffPost, Ali writes for Mother Jones and New York
He's previously worked in politics, having served as deputy chief of
staff to then-San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. He's been described
in press reports as a "Los Angeles businessman" and was named a
"Hillblazer" for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, a term
that refers to individuals "who have contributed and/or raised
$100,000 or more for Hillary for America, the Hillary Victory Fund,
and/or the Hillary Action Fund since the launch of this historic
campaign on April 12, 2015."
Ali also noted that HuffPost isn't named in the suit. "[H]e is
coming after me personally," he tweeted. "I'm a big boy...but very
This suit comes amid an ever-growing legal circus surrounding the
network and its employees. The allegations span everything from
sexual harassment and retaliation to discrimination to publishing
Fox Business host Charles Payne is also currently suspended pending
an investigation into sexual harassment claims. And Fox Sports exec
Jamie Horowitz was recently fired amid harassment allegations.
Fox News has not yet replied to a request for comment.