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Geraldo Rivera Apologizes to Bette Midler After She Said He Once Groped Her During an Interview

Geraldo Rivera Bette Midler
Geraldo Rivera and Bette Midler.Angela Weiss/Getty Images; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Geraldo Rivera has publicly apologized to Bette Midler after she shared an old video of an interview she did telling the story of when he allegedly groped her when they first met in the 1970s.

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The former talk show host took to Twitter on Friday, December 1, to respond to Midler’s demands for an apology, and also to apologize for those he hurt with the release of his 1991 autobiographical book, Exposing Myself.

“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,” Rivera, 74, tweeted. “I’m embarrassed & profoundly sorry to those mentioned-I have & again apologize to anyone offended.”

Rivera responded to Midler’s allegations in a second tweet: “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.”

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He added: “Bette, I apologize.”

“Tomorrow is my birthday,” Midler tweeted on Thursday, along with the clipof her Barbara Walters interview, in which she accused Rivera and his producer of drugging her and groping her in a bathroom. “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.”

In the interview from 1991, Midler shared her story with Walters, 88. “Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me in the ‘70s, the early ‘70s,” Midler said. “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.”

Walters, sounding concerned, asked: “Groped?”

“Groped me,” Midler replied. “I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly. His behavior was unseemly.”

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The video resurfaced after the Fox News correspondent tweeted controversial remarks about sexual harassment allegations after Matt Lauer was fired from the Today show after being accused of sexual misconduct in the workplace. “Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me,” Rivera tweeted on Wednesday, November 29. “News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?”

Though Rivera later apologized for those tweets, Fox News responded to his comments in a statement to Us Weekly. “Geraldo’s tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management,” a spokesperson for the network told Us. “We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him.”

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