Fox News host and unabashed Donald Trump supporter Eric Bolling has been accused of sending unsolicited photos of “male genitalia via text message” to at least three network colleagues, a new report in HuffPost by journalist Yashar Ali alleges.
Ali’s report on Bolling, author of the pro–Trump book, The Swamp, cites a total of 14 sources, although Bolling’s attorney and right–wing blogs unsurprisingly are using the anonymity of the sources to attack the report’s credibility.
According to Ali’s story:
Recipients of the photo confirmed its contents to HuffPost, which is not revealing their identities. The women, who are Bolling’s current and former Fox colleagues, concluded the message was from him because they recognized his number from previous work-related and informal interactions. The messages were sent several years ago, on separate occasions.
The women did not solicit the messages, which they told colleagues were deeply upsetting and offensive. One of the recipients said that when she replied to Bolling via text, telling him never to send her such photos again, he did not respond. Four people, outside of the recipients, confirmed to HuffPost they’d seen the photo, and eight others said the recipients had spoken to them about it.
The HuffPost story points out that Bolling, who has hosted Fox’s The Five, has filled in for Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and now co–hosts The Specialists, went after a disgraced Anthony Weiner in 2014 over Weiner’s repeated sexting scandals, and made misogynistic on–air comments the same year about a United Arab Emirates fighter pilot.
If the accusations against Bolling are true, they would become the latest in a string of scandals at a network that has become a den for sexual predators, misogynists, racists, and promulgators of pro–Trump fake news. Some of these scandals already had forced out former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who died last May, and sexual predator Bill O’Reilly, who now makes podcasts from his car.
Bolling denied the allegations through his attorney, Michael J. Bowe, who told HuffPost, “Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”
In a statement sent to Splinter, a Fox News spokesperson said,“We were just informed of this late Friday afternoon via a Huff Post inquiry and plan to investigate the matter.”
Right–wing blog Breitbart News on Friday called the story a “hit piece.”
Read Ali’s entire story here.
Update: After the allegations against Bolling were published, two new details emerged: First, Fox News suspended Bolling pending an investigation; and second, a former frequent Fox News guest has come forward alleging that Bolling, O’Reilly, and former Fox News consultant Woody Fraser sexually harassed her between 2008-2011.
“I did hundreds of appearances on Fox and Fox Business from 2008 - 2011, and had multiple experiences with Bolling that caused grave concern to my friends and family. Bolling referred to me as ‘Dr. McHottie’ on air on four different occasions, and called me ‘smart, beautiful, and wrong’ on air twice,” Caroline Heldman wrote in a Facebook post first reported by HuffPost.
A Fox News spokesperson told Splinter that, “Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway.” Rotating substitute hosts will appear on The Specialists and Cashin’ In.