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Fox News Host Eric Bolling Suspended Amid Claims Of Lewd Texting

High-profile Fox News host Eric Bolling has been suspended after HuffPost reported on Friday that he sent unwanted lewd texts with "an unsolicited photo of male genitalia" to at least three female colleagues.

Bolling co-hosts The Fox News Specialists, a daily news and talk show and is the sole host of Cashin' In, a national business analysis program, which airs on Saturday mornings.

According to HuffPost, the women are Bolling's current and former Fox colleagues. The online news site reported that it spoke with 14 anonymous sources in reporting these allegations, and that recipients of the lewd photo confirmed its content.

The law firm Paul Weiss is investigating for Fox and parent company 21st Century Fox.

Bolling's attorney, Michael J. Bowe, tells NPR that the allegations are untrue, that he sent no "unsolicited" communication — suggesting but not stating there were consensual exchanges.

Bowe sent NPR this statement:

"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."

Cashin' In was taped Friday morning as usual but was pulled before its scheduled airtime Saturday 11 a.m. once Fox News Channel was made aware of the allegations via the HuffPost story. The show was replaced by an episode of America's News HQ, a live half-hour of news.

Until further notice, rotating substitute hosts will be in place on Specialists (weekdays at 5 p.m.) and Cashin' In.

Bolling's suspension comes in the backdrop of ongoing sexual harassment lawsuits against Fox and the departures of the late Roger Ailes, former host Bill O'Reilly for similar claims, as well as a raft of departures of top executives. And just last Tuesday, a private investigator filed a defamation suit against Fox, accusing the network of falsifying quotes and promoting a story that favors President Trump. Both Fox and the Trump Administration have refuted these claims.

A Fox News spokesperson issued the following statement:

"Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway."

Bolling joined Fox in 2008 after a career as a commodities trader. During his tenure there, he's been known to be a vocal supporter of Trump.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.