Geraldo Rivera Apologizes to Bette Midler for Alleged Groping

TV correspondent responded to allegation on Twitter Friday

By Jess Cohen Dec 02, 2017 1:52 AMTags
Bette Midler, Geraldo RiveraGetty Images

Geraldo Rivera is sending an apology to Bette Midler.

Earlier this week, the TV correspondent received backlash for tweets he posted about Matt Lauer's NBC News firing. In one of his tweets Rivera wrote, "Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me. News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?"

After seeing the response to his comments, Rivera tweeted an apology Wednesday. "Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment makes clear I didn't sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden-Harassers are deviants who deserve what is coming to them-Often victims are too frightened to come forward in a timely fashion-I humbly apologize," he wrote to his followers.

In response to Rivera's apology, Bette Midler tweeted, "Tomorrow is my birthday. I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me. Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this. #MeToo."

The video Midler tweeted is an interview she did with Barbara Walters in which she talks about an alleged incident in the 1970s where Rivera and his producer allegedly "pushed me into my bathroom" and "proceeded to grope me."

After seeing Midler's tweet, Rivera responded on social media Friday.

"Although I recall the time @BetteMidler has alluded to much differently than she, that does not change the fact that she has a right to speak out & demand an apology from me, for in the very least, publically embarrassing her all those years ago. Bette, I apologize," Rivera tweeted.

Midler has yet to comment on Rivera's tweet.

Before tweeting his message to Midler, Rivera also wrote to his followers, "27 years ago I wrote a tawdry book depicting consensual events in 1973-45 years ago-I've deeply regretted its distasteful & disrespectful tone & have refrained from speaking about it-I'm embarrassed & profoundly sorry to those mentioned-I have & again apologize to anyone offended."