“seeking $50 million in damages for defamation”
Eric Bolling has been suspended from FOX News, as we mentioned in a recent post: FOX News Suspends Eric Bolling for Allegedly Sending Lewd Texts
The whole thing is based on a report from the Huffington Post by Yashar Ali which used multiple anonymous sources. Now Bolling is suing Ali.
Ashley Cullins and Jeremy Barr write at the Hollywood Reporter:
Fox News Host Eric Bolling Sues Journalist for $50M Over Lewd Photo Allegation
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 an Aug. 4 story for HuffPost claiming that 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.”
On Saturday, Fox News suspended Bolling — recently a host on the talk show Fox News Specialists and Cashin’ In and formerly of The Five — amid an investigation into the claims. He has worked at Fox News since 2008.
Ali wrote Wednesday on Twitter 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 confidentiality agreements.
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.
Bolling seems eager to get this cleared up:
Overwhelmed by all the support I have received. Thank you
I look forward to clearing my name asap
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) August 7, 2017
I will continue to fight against these false smear attacks! THANK YOU FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) August 9, 2017
Yashar Ali also seems confident:
Just received a summons. Eric Bolling is suing me for defamation – $50 million in damages. I stand by my reporting + will protect my sources
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 9, 2017
It’s important to note that Bolling’s summons does not include HuffPost – he is coming after me personally. I’m a big boy…but very telling https://t.co/nvludsIV87
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 9, 2017
Hadas Gold of Politico has more on the specifics of the suit:
Eric Bolling initiates lawsuit against reporter behind sexting story
On Wednesday, Bolling filed a “summons with notice” in New York State Supreme Court against Ali, seeking $50 million in damages for defamation. Ali must respond within 20 days, demanding that Bolling file a complaint, after which Bolling will have 20 days to file his response before the suit goes forward.
“The nature of this action is for damages and injunctive relief based on defamation arising from the defendant’s efforts to injure the plaintiff’s reputation through the intentional and/or highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about the plaintiff’s conduct and character. As a result of the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff has been substantially harmed,” the summons states.
Bolling is represented by Michael Bowe from the same law firm as Marc Kasowitz, who was President Donald Trump’s personal attorney until last month.
“This anonymously sourced and uncorroborated story is false, defamatory, and obviously intended to destroy this good man’s career and family. We will defend Eric aggressively in court, where actual facts, based on evidence, testimony, and cross-examination, will belie these anonymous accusations,” Bowe said.
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