Eric Bolling suspended from Fox News amid lewd texting scandal
NEW YORK — Fox News said Saturday that host Eric Bolling will be suspended from air “pending the results of an investigation” into whether he sent lewd photos to co-workers, a network spokesperson confirmed to CNNMoney.
The show Bolling typically hosts on Saturdays, “Cashin’ In,” did not air.
News of the suspension came one day after HuffPost published a story saying more than a dozen sources confirmed that Bolling had sent female colleagues an “unsolicited” photo of his genitals.
Bolling’s attorney said he denies the claims.
“The anonymous, uncorroborated claims are untrue and terribly unfair,” Michael Bowe, an attorney who represents Bolling, told CNNMoney.
“We intend to fully cooperate with the investigation so that it can be concluded and Eric can return to work as quickly as possible,” he said Saturday.
Bolling has been one of President Trump’s staunchest backers on television, and his career has benefited from it.
Bolling was a co-host of “The Five,” Fox’s weekday roundtable, and when “The Five” was moved to 9 p.m. in the spring, Bolling stayed out at 5 p.m. as the leader of a new show called “The Specialists.”
On the talk show Bolling sits in the center, with co-hosts Eboni Williams and Kat Timpf on either side of him, plus two guests.
Bolling frequently defends the president and ridicules opponents. He is the author of a book titled “The Swamp,” which earned a supportive retweet from President Trump when it was released.
The HuffPost reporter who broke the story, Yashar Ali, said he worked on it for three months and reached “14 sources in and out of Fox News and Fox Business.”
“We were just informed of this late Friday afternoon via a HuffPost inquiry and plan to investigate the matter,” Fox News told HuffPost.
Bolling’s attorney told Ali that “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.”
Bolling had already taped his Saturday morning show “Cashin’ In” when the story came out. Fox decided late Friday to yank the taped show from its schedule. The network aired a newscast in its place.
“Cashin’ In” will continue on with substitute hosts.
It’s been just over a year since former Fox host Gretchen Carlson sent shock waves through the network by suing then-CEO Roger Ailes. She accused him of firing her after she refused his “sexual advances.”
Others at Fox News later came forward with similar claims, and Ailes left the company on July 21, 2016.
Reports also began surfacing last fall that more sexual harassment allegations were being aimed at longtime Fox News star Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly consistently denied the allegations, but was eventually fired from the network.
A host on Fox Business, Charles Payne, was suspended last month amid a harassment investigation. He has not yet returned to work. Payne denied the allegations and called them an “ugly lie.”
All of these cases have provoked uncomfortable questions about Fox’s corporate culture and about whether management tolerated improper behavior for many years.
21st Century Fox says it has made sweeping changes to its human resources practices as a result of the Ailes scandal. The allegations involving Payne and Bolling date back to before Ailes resigned.
Fox’s statement about Bolling on Saturday indicated that he may return once the investigation is complete.