Fox News host sus­pended amid in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Fox News said Satur­day that it has sus­pended Eric Bolling, co­host of its late-af­ter­noon news pro­gram “The Spe­cial­ists,” while it investigates al­le­ga­tions he sent a lewd photo to co-work­ers.

Word of the sus­pen­sion came one day after a Huf­fPost re­port re­ly­ing on anony­mous sources stated Bolling had sent a lewd photo to at least three fe­male col­leagues at Fox News and Fox Busi­ness.

“Eric Bolling has been sus­pended pend­ing the re­sults of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which is cur­rently un­der­way,” Fox News said in a brief state­ment.

An at­tor­ney for Bolling, Michael J. Bowe, de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

“The anony­mous, un­cor­rob­o­rated claims are un­true and ter­ri­bly un­fair,” Bowe wrote in an email Satur­day. “We in­tend to fully co-op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion so that it can be con­cluded and Eric can re­turn to work as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

Bolling is the best-known per­son­al­ity on “The Fox News Spe­cial­ists,” a pro­gram that airs week­days at 5 p.m. EDT. The show re­placed the net­work’s se­ries “The Five” in April. He also hosts the week­end show “Cashin’ In.”

He joined Fox News in 2008 after work­ing as a com­modi­ties trader, ac­cord­ing to his bio on the net­work’s web­site.

A vo­cal sup­porter of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, Bolling wrote a March op-ed ac­cus­ing House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis­con­sin and es­tab­lish­ment Repub­li­cans of be­tray­ing the pres­i­dent with their ver­sion of a plan to over­haul the na­tion’s health sys­tem.

The sus­pen­sion is the lat­est in a string of sex­ual ha­rass­ment com­plaints against per­son­al­i­ties who ap­pear on Fox News and Fox Busi­ness Net­work. In July, Fox Busi­ness host Charles Payne was sus­pended after the Los An­ge­les Times re­ported based on anony­mous sources that he harassed a fe­male po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst.

Payne re­mains sus­pended while an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tions con­tin­ues.

Other al­le­ga­tions were lev­elled against Fox News’ for­mer star, Bill O’Reilly, who was fired in April after sev­eral women re­ported be­ing harassed by the host.

The net­work’s found­ing leader, Roger Ailes, re­signed in July 2016 be­cause of ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions. He died in May after a fall at his home.

Bolling’s sus­pen­sion came on the heels of a defama­tion law­suit filed last Tuesday against Fox by a pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor. The law­suit ac­cuses the net­work of mak­ing up quotes and push­ing a false story that ben­e­fits Trump, even invit­ing the chief ex­ec­u­tive into the edi­to­rial process. Both Fox and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion de­nied the law­suit’s claims.

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