Fox News suspends host Eric Bolling amid accusations of sexual harassment.

Fox News Suspends Host Eric Bolling Amid Accusations of Sexual Harassment

Fox News Suspends Host Eric Bolling Amid Accusations of Sexual Harassment

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Aug. 5 2017 11:03 PM

Fox News Suspends Host Eric Bolling Amid Accusations of Sexual Harassment

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Eric Bolling attends Fox News' The Five at FOX Studios on February 26, 2014 in New York City.

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Yet another man associated with Fox News is facing scrutiny for what appears to have been a pattern of sexual harassment that may have lasted years. The cable news channel suspended host and contributor Eric Bolling on Saturday amid allegations that he sent lewd photographs via text message to three female colleagues. Hours after the suspension was announced, Caroline Heldman, a politics professor at Occidental College who was a frequent guest on the network from 2008 to 2011, said Bolling made numerous unsolicited sexual advances at her.

The HuffPost talked to more than a dozen sources in and out of Fox News who confirmed Bolling sent a photo of a man’s genitalia to two colleagues at Fox Business and another at Fox News. The recipients, who remain anonymous, confirmed the allegations, noting the photos were sent several years ago. Less than 24 hours after that story was published, Fox News announced Bolling’s suspension pending an investigation. In a statement, Bolling’s lawyer said that the Fox News host “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.”

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After Fox News announced Bolling would be suspended, Heldman published a detailed post on Facebook marveling at the fact that it took so long for anyone to say anything about the former commodities trader’s “wildly inappropriate” behavior:

He said he wanted to fly me out to New York for in-studio hits and to have “fun.” He asked me to have meals with him on several occasions, but I found excuses not to go. Once, he took me up to his office in New York, showed me his baseball jerseys, and in the brief time I was there, let me know that his office was his favorite place to have sex. I know other women have had similar experiences with Bolling, which means that lots of folks at Fox knew about his behavior well before 2017.

Earlier this week, Mother Jones reported that Heldman signed a declaration as part of a potential lawsuit that alleges Fox News consultant Woody Fraser offered to hire her as a paid contributor in exchange for sex. Fraser was known as a close ally to Roger Ailes, the late founder and longtime CEO of Fox News. Heldman also says she was sexually harassed by Bill O’Reilly.

"We are investigating this matter and all claims will be taken into account," a Fox News spokesperson said.

Bolling has worked at Fox News since 2008 after he left CNBC. He was a longtime co-host of the Five and recently began a gig as co-host of a new afternoon show known as the Specialists. The first episode of the show featured Bolling’s interview with President Donald Trump. Fox said a rotating cast of co-anchors would take his place while the investigation continues. He also hosts Cashin’ In, a weekly business show. In June, Trump retweeted a Bolling plug for his latest book, The Swamp: Washington’s Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It.

Bolling is only the latest in a string of high-powered men at the network who have been suddenly engulfed in controversy over allegations of harassment. Ailes was ousted from the network after a former anchor accused him of harassment while Bill O’Reilly was forced to leave after reports of settlements to prevent allegations from moving forward.

*This post has been updated with a comment from Fox News since it was first published.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.