Fox Weatherman's Future Cloudy After Tell-All Playboy Interview
An Emmy-winning Philadelphia weatherman with a wild reputation was suspended a few days before Christmas, a Fox spokeswoman announced on Tuesday. John Bolaris had worked as a meteorologist for 24 years, five at Fox 29, but after a romp-turned-wrong in Miami Beach last year, and a steamy interview with Playboy, the network decided it was time to part ways.
In March 2010, Bolaris fell victim to a "Bar Girls" scam in Miami Beach. Two luscious Europeans, who were part of an international crime ring, drugged him in a sushi bar. When Bolaris checked his American Express bill at the end of a two-day blur, he discovered that he had purchased "bottles of champagne every 15 minutes or so," as well as caviar, and a painting at an auction. The total charge was over $43,000.
The FBI later busted the crime ring -- which had scammed nearly 100 men in Miami Beach -- thanks in part to Bolaris' testimony. AmEx allegedly settled Bolaris' tab, and paid him $100,000 in damages.
Being a crime victim isn't a reason for suspension, but how you handle that apparently can be. Bolaris shopped his screenplay-worthy story around to various publications, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Playboy took him up on his offer.
Stormy Relationship At The Station
In the subsequent tell-all interview, in the same issues as Lindsay Lohan's nude pictorial, Bolaris offered some indiscreet admissions. Why had Bolaris agreed to party with the women? "I'm a guy," he said. "There was the thought that I might get laid."
And he added, "I was used to girls in Philly coming on to me aggressively once they found out I was John Bolaris, the TV weatherman."
Once these details hit the mainstream media, Fox 24 and Bolaris, "mutually agreed that it was time to part ways," in the words of a network spokeswoman.
Bolaris had apparently annoyed the higher-ups on other occasions. Several months prior, Bolaris had allegedly argued with management, who didn't want him to interview his friend, disgraced baseball star (bankruptcy, alleged embezzlement and steroid use), Lenny Dykstra, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Bolaris said that he was sick, and went home.
This also wasn't the first time Bolaris has courted controversy. In March 2001 he insisted that a "Breaking News" alert be put up during an episode of "Law and Order," to prepare Philly viewers for the "Storm of the Century." Citizens braced for the worst, but the storm never reached Philadelphia.
But now, it seems, the storm has reached Bolaris. "Listen really want to be back at FOX," Bolaris tweeted on Jan. 4, "bunch of great peeps there, front and behind camera, hopefully it all works out, love your support!"
But Fox shows no signs of relenting. Bolaris has kept tweeting weather updates several times a day. You can take the man out of the weatherman job, it seems, but you can't take the weatherman out of the man.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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