Fox News has suspended Eric Bolling “pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway,” a Fox spokesperson told TheWrap.
Fox opened an investigation into claims that Bolling sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia to at least three female co-workers following a HuffPost report Friday. The report says that “a dozen sources” said that the messages were sent several years ago and the women found them “deeply upsetting and offensive.”
“We were just informed of this late Friday afternoon via the Huffington Post inquiry and plan to investigate the matter,” a Fox News spokesperson told TheWrap.
Now that the investigation is underway, Bolling has been suspended. Fox’s full statement reads, “Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway.”
The law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison will be conducting the investigation.
A Fox News spokesperson also noted that “Cashin In” was taped Friday morning per usual and was pulled last night once FNC was made aware of the allegations via the HuffPost inquiry/story. It was replaced Saturday by a live half hour of news. Rotating substitute hosts will be in place on “The Specialists” (weekdays/5 p.m.) and “Cashin In” (Saturdays at 11:30 a,m).
Bolling’s attorney, Michael J. Bowe, issued the following statement to HuffPost: “Mr. Bolling 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.”
Bolling, who currently co-hosts “The Fox News Specialists,” was pulled off his former show, “The Five,” earlier this year when it moved to primetime because network executives wanted a familiar face in the 5 p.m. ET time slot. Paired with Kat Timpf and Eboni K. Williams, “Specialists” is, essentially, a new version of “The Five.” He regularly filled in as host of “The O’Reilly Factor” before the show was pulled off the air because of sexual harassment allegations against star Bill O’Reilly.
Fox News’ late founding CEO Roger Ailes stepped down last year amid a series of sexual harassment allegations. Co-president Bill Shine also left the network after being named in a variety of the lawsuits against Ailes and O’Reilly, although Shine was never accused himself and denies all wrongdoing.
The network has faced a variety of accusations and lawsuits since the Ailes scandal initially surfaced but remains the most-watched network in cable news.
Although a rep for Bolling didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, CNN Money reporter Jackie Wattles received an email Saturday from Bolling’s lawyer Michael Bowe saying, “The anonymous, uncorroborated claims are untrue and terribly unfair. We intend to fully cooperate with the investigation so that it can be concluded and Eric can return to work as quickly as possible.”