Eric Bolling’s accuser, Caroline Heldman has issued to following statement on her Facebook page.
Among her claims, Bolling referred to her as “Dr. McHottie” on four different occasions.
Just suspended Eric Bolling pending allegations that he sent photos of his genitalia to female colleagues. My only surprise is that it took this long for people to come forward about Bolling’s behavior, which has been wildly inappropriate for years.
I did hundreds of appearances on Fox and Fox Business from 2008 – 2011, and had multiple experiences with Bolling that caused grave concern to my friends and family. Bolling referred to me as “Dr. McHottie” on air on four different occasions, and called me “smart, beautiful, and wrong” on air twice. I pushed back with “Mr. McSexist,” but I shouldn’t have had to. This on-air behavior was perfectly acceptable to Fox executives at the time.
Bolling would also contact me via phone and text after shows, sometimes to apologize for his behavior (and then do it again), and sometimes just to talk. He said he wanted to fly me out to New York for in-studio hits and to have “fun.” He asked me to have meals with him on several occasions, but I found excuses not to go. Once, he took me up to his office in New York, showed me his baseball jerseys, and in the brief time I was there, let me know that his office was his favorite place to have sex. I know other women have had similar experiences with Bolling, which means that lots of folks at Fox knew about his behavior well before 2017.
Bolling was one of three men from whom I experienced sexual harassment and gender discrimination (the others being Bill O’Reilly and Woody Fraser).
O’Reilly was creepy in person; told me “when I was in college, professors didn’t look like you”; then called me “hysterical” during a show, edited the interview, and retaliated by never having me on his show again.
Fraser took me under his wing as a mentor; constantly pressured me for a relationship and sex; took an idea for a show that would become The Five (I emailed Fraser a treatment that is remarkably similar to The Five, right down to some of the hosts, a year before The Five aired); dangled a contributorship and a hosting position for a sexual relationship; then stopped my appearances when I didn’t acquiesce to his advances.
Fox News guests are also a problem. In 2010, I consoled a make-up artist (who no longer works for Fox) after Gene Simmons sexually harassed her, and this was not his first time doing so. On March 20, 2011, Lenny Dykstra persistently asked me to a party and told me that he gets “sexually aroused when I talk politics.” He also harassed the make-up artist who was curling my hair at the time.
Make-up artists at Fox are contract workers, so many are fearful of speaking up because they simply won’t be hired again. If any Fox executives are reading this, please include make-up artists in your assessment of the environment. They see and hear a lot, and are sometimes the target of harassment from hosts and guests.
There are a lot of great people working at Fox, many of whom I admire and respect to this day, but there is also a culture of sexual harassment that has not fully been addressed. I have faith that, given recent decisions to fire and suspend perpetrators, the new management will effectively shift this culture.