Fox News on Saturday suspended Eric Bolling, one of the network’s hosts, as it investigates a report that he sent female colleagues unsolicited photos of male genitalia, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Journalist Yashar Ali first reported the news of both the suspension and the text messages for the Huffington Post.
Citing a dozen sources, HuffPost reported that Bolling sent the pictures to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News several years ago on separate occasions.
“Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway,” a Fox News spokesperson told BuzzFeed News via email. The law firm Paul Weiss will conduct the investigation, the spokesperson said.
Rotating substitute hosts will fill on for Bolling on his show The Specialists on weekdays and on Cashin In’ on Saturdays.
Bolling’s appearance for Saturday’s episode of Cashin In’ was taped Friday morning, but was pulled later that night once the network was made aware of the HuffPost story. It was replaced on Saturday by a live half hour of news.
President Donald Trump helped promote Bolling’s book, The Swamp, by retweeting him in June.
After learning about the allegations against Bolling, Caroline Heldman, a former frequent guest on Fox News posted on Facebook about her own interactions with Bolling, who she claimed would often call or text her to ask her out to dinner or invite her to New York after her appearances on his show.
“There were a couple of times that he would try to get me to go to New York, have dinner,” Heldman told BuzzFeed News. “He would said if I came to New York we would have a lot of fun, and I knew what was happening.”
In late 2011, when she travelled to New York to appear on a different show, Heldman said Bolling invited her to his office, and proceeded to make suggestive comments.
“Out of the blue, then he said that his favorite place to have sex was his office,” Heldman told BuzzFeed News.
Heldman, a politics professor at Occidental College, appeared multiple times on Fox News programs from 2008 to 2011. Earlier this year, she signed a sworn declaration alleging that former Fox News executive Woody Fraser tried to have a sexual relationship with her, and insinuated her guest appearances on Fox would be affected if she didn’t agree to it.
Bolling never sent her any pictures, Heldmen said. But she estimated that she received more than 20 calls and texts from the married Fox News host trying to ask her out.
The two also clashed on hour when he would call her “Dr. McHottie.” During one show, Heldman said, she called him in turn “Dr. McSexist.” On at least two occasions, Heldman noted Bolling called her “smart, beautiful and wrong” on air.
Heldman said she would often try to use humor while rejecting advances from Bolling and Fraser, because she was worried rejecting them would affect her appearances on the news channel.
Fox News did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment on Heldman’s allegations.
The news of Bolling’s suspension follows a series of sexual harassment scandals at the network.
Primetime host Bill O’Reilly, who was ousted from the network in April following multiple sexual harassment allegations against him. Jesse Watters, co-host of The Five, took a previously unannounced vacation that month after he faced public backlash for making a lewd joke about Ivanka Trump. Watters denied the joke was sexual.
And former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes faced sexual harassment allegations from several women before his death in May. He resigned from the network in July 2016 after Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who alleged she was fired for rejecting Ailes’s sexual advances, filed a lawsuit.
Bolling did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cora Lewis is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Lewis reports on labor.
Contact Cora Lewis at email@example.com.
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