Fox News suspends host Eric Bolling over 'lewd photographs'

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Fox News has suspended one of its hosts over allegations he sent lewd photographs to three female colleagues.

Eric Bolling was suspended from the US television network after allegedly sending inappropriate messages several years ago.

His lawyer branded the claims “untrue and terribly unfair”.

The case is the third high-profile claim of harassment at the network. Fox News parted ways with star host Bill O’Reilly in April following allegations of sexual harassment, and former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes was forced to resign last year after being accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women, including former anchor Gretchen Carlson. Both men denied wrongdoing.

The Huffington Post website reported that Mr Bolling sent photos of male genitalia by text. At least two recipients worked at Fox Business and one at Fox News, the website reported.

“Eric Bolling has been suspended pending the results of an investigation, which is currently underway,” Fox said in a statement.

Mr Bolling’s lawyer, Michael Bowe, said in an email to Reuters that “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.”

Previously, Bowe said in a statement to the Huffington Post that Mr Bolling did not recall sending any inappropriate messages and would “vigorously pursue his legal remedies” to combat any false or defamatory accusations.

Fox News, with a conservative bent associated with Republican Party politics, has led most ratings for U.S. cable news for years but has been unsettled by reports that it has been a hostile workplace for women.

Mr Ailes was credited with building Fox News into a politically influential channel. Fox News parted ways with O’Reilly, the face of the channel, after advertisers began to flee his show.

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox, wrote at the time that the company was committed to “fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”

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