Geraldo Rivera apologizes to Bette Midler for alleged groping incident
"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, publicly embarrassing her all those years ago. Bette, I apologize," He wrote Friday.
In his tweet, Rivera was responding to an old video Midler shared yesterday, where she called out Rivera for the alleged act, adding in her caption, "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."
Midler was referring to Rivera's other mea culpa, this time after defending Lauer, even calling him a "great guy" following his termination from NBC earlier this week for what his former network called "inappropriate sexual behavior." Midler also added a #MeToo hashtag, a symbol of speaking out on social media against sexual harassment or assault.
In the clip, Midler tells Barbara Walters that during an interview in the 1970's, Rivera "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."
"Poppers" is slang for the recreational drug alkyl nitrite.
"Grope?" Walters asks, looking surprised. Midler responds, "Groped me. I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was … he was unseemly."
A representative for Midler told ABC News that she had no further comment beyond her tweet. Before his tweet, Rivera's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
In a review of Rivera's 1991 memoir, "Exposing Myself," The Washington Post pulled a line from the book, in which he wrote about his version of the alleged incident, "We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts."
In the tweet that caught Midler's attention, which he would later "humbly apologize" for, 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."