Shortly after Geraldo Rivera defended fired “Today” host Matt Lauer against sexual misconduct allegations, critics resurfaced a 1991 interview in which Bette Midler accuses the Fox News commentator of pushing her into a bathroom and groping her.
Rivera later apologized for his comments about Lauer. But he didn’t address the actress’ accusations. On Thursday, Midler tweeted that all these years later, Rivera still hasn’t apologized for what he did to her.
Midler tweeted “Yup. Me, Too,” then shared the video of the Barbara Walters interview in which she accuses Rivera.
“Tomorrow is my birthday. I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me,” Midler wrote on Twitter. “Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this.
In the interview, Midler hesitates, then details a “very unpleasant” encounter with Rivera and his producer in the early 1970s involving a chemical popular at the time for giving a powerful high.
“Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the ’70s, the early ’70s,” Midler tells Walters. “And this was when he was very, sort of, hot. And he and his producer left the crew in the other room, they pushed me into my bathroom, they broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me.”
People magazine points out that Rivera appeared to acknowledge the incident in his 1991 memoir. “We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts,” he wrote in Exposing Myself.
On Wednesday, after “Today” announced Lauer’s firing, Rivera took to Twitter to lament what he called the “current epidemic” of sexual harassment allegations against men. He said women “may be criminalizing courtship [and] conflating it [with] predation.” By Wednesday night, the Fox News contributor walked back his comments.
“I didn’t sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden,” he wrote on Twitter. “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 didn’t mention Midler.