Geraldo Rivera apologizes to Bette Midler after groping allegation
Posted December 1, 2017 2:00 p.m. EST
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera apologized on Friday to Bette Midler after she accused him earlier this week of drugging and groping her in the 1970s.
"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 [sic] embarrassing her all those years ago," Rivera wrote on Twitter. "Bette, I apologize."
Midler has not publicly responded to Rivera's apology. A representative for her did not return a request for comment from CNN.
The incident between Rivera and Midler was thrown into the public spotlight this week after Rivera posted a string of controversial tweets about sexual harassment in the workplace. Following the firing of "Today" anchor Matt Lauer, Rivera tweeted that "news is a flirty business" and the "current epidemic" of sexual harassment allegations might be "criminalizing courtship."
After Fox News said it was "troubled" by the tweets, Rivera apologized for his comments.
But Rivera's tweets prompted Twitter users to dredge up an old interview of Midler speaking with Barbara Walters. In the clip, Midler said she was assaulted by Rivera during an interview in 1970s.
"This was when [Rivera] was very sort of hot," Midler told Walters in the decades-old interview. "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."
"Grope you?" Walters asked.
"Grope me," Midler said. "I did not offer myself up on the alter of Geraldo Rivera."
After Twitter users resurfaced the clip, Midler herself tweeted it on Wednesday, saying she felt as if the video was "a gift from the universe."
"Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this," she added, ending the tweet with the "#MeToo" hashtag.
Rivera also apologized on Friday for "Exposing Myself," a book he wrote decades ago that chronicled his sex life. Passages from it also resurfaced this week after his comments following Lauer's firing. Rivera said he was "embarrassed" by the book and "deeply regretted its distasteful & disrespectful tone."