Attorneys representing a HuffPost contributing writer are fighting back against Fox News host Eric Bolling’s $US50 million defamation lawsuit, calling it “utterly devoid of merit” and demanding that it be dismissed.
“The Summons with Notice you filed … is purposefully sparse on allegations, and does not identify which purportedly ‘false and misleading’ statements could possibly support a $US50 million damages award,” Yashar Ali’s attorney, Patricia Glaser wrote in a letter addressed to Bolling’s attorney.
Bolling filed the defamation lawsuit against Ali, a paid freelancer under contract, who published allegations that Bolling sent lewd messages to some colleagues at Fox News. Attorneys for Bolling claim that Ali’s report had injured their client’s reputation “through the intentional and/or highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements.”
Ali’s counsel are fighting the defamation accusation, saying that “there is no evidence of actual malice” and that Ali had “conducted a thorough investigation and verified his information with 14 independent sources.”
“As a result, Mr. Bolling, a public figure, is not entitled to any damages from Mr. Ali. Furthermore, truth is always a defence to defamation,” Glaser’s letter continued.
The fiery response also appeared to call out the specific target of the dispute. “We view your decision to sue Mr. Ali in his individual capacity, for $US50 million, without also naming the Huffington Post, as a calculated effort to harass and intimidate Mr. Ali personally. It will not work,” the letter said.
“We welcome the opportunity to depose Mr. Bolling and review his message history, as we presume that you have instructed him to preserve communications,” the letter to Bollin’s attorney read. “At best, you failed to investigate Mr. Bolling’s claims, at worst, you were aware his claims were false but proceeded regardless.”
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