Fox News host Eric Bolling is suing reporter Yashar Ali for defamation following a story published on HuffPost alleging the news personality sent lewd, unsolicited text messages to multiple colleagues.
Bolling, who was suspended from the network following the publication of the article, is seeking at least $50 million in damages.
Ali confirmed he received a summons Tuesday.
Ali declined to comment further on the suit.
Fox News suspended Bolling less than 24 hours after the publication of Ali’s story.
“Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement.
The summons accuses Ali of “reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements about the plaintiff’s conduct and character,” arguing that Bolling was “substantially harmed” by publication of the story.
HuffPost, which published the story alleging the host sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia to female colleagues at Fox Business and Fox News, was not named in the initial court summons.
“Yashar Ali is a careful and meticulous reporter. We stand by his reporting,” HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen said. “Ali is a paid freelancer under contract with HuffPost. We have no hesitation about standing by him financially in this case.”
Bolling and his attorneys, meanwhile, have vehemently denied the allegations.
“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’s lawyer, Michael J. Bowe, said.