Eric Bolling has been suspended from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations
"Fox News Specialists" host Eric Bolling has been suspended from Fox News amid allegations that he sent unsolicited photos of male genitalia several years ago to at least two colleagues at Fox Business Network and at least one colleague at Fox News, Mediaite reported on Saturday. The claims were first reported by HuffPost, which cited a dozen sources.
"Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway," Fox News said in a statement emailed to Business Insider. The probe is being conducted by the law firm Paul Weiss.
The women who made the allegations against Bolling are either current or previous Fox employees who, when they received the messages, told colleagues they were very "upsetting" and "offensive." One woman said that when she replied to Bolling's text and told him never to send her photos like that again, he didn't reply back.
When HuffPost contacted Fox on Friday, a spokesperson told the outlet, "We were just informed of this and plan to investigate the matter."
When he was asked whether Bolling had ever sent any unsolicited or inappropriate messages to his colleagues at either Fox News or Fox Business, Bolling's attorney Michael J. Bowe replied, "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."
Before getting a spot on "Fox News Specialists," Bolling was a co-host on the popular evening program, "The Five." He is an avid defender of President Donald Trump and has frequently drawn praise from the president. While Bolling's suspension is in effect, rotating substitute hosts will be in place on The Specialists, as well as on Bolling's weekend segment, "Cashin' In."
Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, has seen a stream of high-profile departures over the last year in the wake of a number of sexual harassment scandals.
It started last summer, when former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, now deceased, was forced to resign when then host Gretchen Carlson accused him of unwanted sexual advances. Carlson subsequently left the network.
In April, primetime star Bill O'Reilly was forced to tender his resignation as well, following an exodus of advertisers that came on the heels of an explosive report saying O'Reilly and Fox News had paid out $13 million to five women to settle sexual-harassment claims they had brought against him. Multiple other women also accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment after the initial revelations.
Primetime commentator Megyn Kelly also left Fox News this year, reportedly partially because she was upset by O'Reilly's criticism of her for publicly commenting on the sexual harassment she faced at Fox News, The New York Times reported in April.
Kelly talked about having been sexually harassed by Ailes in her book, which O'Reilly criticized her for in November. During an appearance on "CBS This Morning," O'Reilly shot back at Kelly's remarks and said, "Look, it's open season. Let's whack the Fox News Channel. I've had enough of it. It's a good place to work, all right?"
In July, Jamie Horowitz, then the president of Fox Sports, was also fired amid an ongoing sexual harassment probe into his actions when he spearheaded the network.