Fox News' Eric Bolling files defamation suit against Huffington Post reporter

Yashar Ali is being sued over stories about sexual harassment via text message

Fox News screenshot Fox News host Eric Bolling

According to the New York State Supreme Court summons, reviewed by The Daily Beast, Bolling is seeking no less than $50 million in damages for alleged defamation. "I stand by my reporting [and] will protect my sources".

"Overwhelmed by all the support I have received", Bolling tweeted Monday.

He's retained Michael Bowe and Ronald Rossi from Kasowitz Benson Torres - the firm whose name partner Marc Kasowitz reps president Donald Trump.

Yashar Ali, a freelance reporter for the Huffington Post, broke the news that Bolling had allegedly sent lewd text messages, including photos of his genitalia, to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one at Fox News several years ago on separate occasions.

A lawyer for Bolling released a statement after the publication of the article, but it wasn't a complete denial of the allegations. Ali noted in a tweet that he's named in the suite, HuffPost isn't.

Ali told CNNMoney he first learned about the summons through a reporter.

The lawsuit comes just days after Ali wrote an August 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". Bolling has also been accused by one former female Fox guest of sexual harassment.

"Not going to stop reporting on Eric Bolling or anyone else", Ali tweeted. "We stand by his reporting", HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen said in an article on the site.

21st Century Fox says it has made sweeping changes to its human resources practices as a result of the Ailes scandal. The Weiss firm was also brought in to investigate Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes before they were ousted from the network.

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 at 5 p.m.as the leader of a new show called "The Specialists". Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, claimed she was sacked for rejecting Ailes's sexual advances, prompting a lawsuit. When Weiner pleaded guilty earlier this year to sending obscene material to an underage girl, Bolling said he was a "sick human being, to continue to do this time and time again".

Following the initial report on the Bolling allegations, Caroline Heldman, a former Fox News contributor, said in a Facebook post that the cable news host's conduct had been "wildly inappropriate for years".

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