Bette Midler calls out Geraldo Rivera on Twitter and demands apology from him for 'drugging and groping her in the 70s'

  • Geraldo Rivera wrote a series of tweets Wednesday appearing to support Matt Lauer and question?the motivations of sexual harassment victims
  • His parent company, Fox News, called the tweets 'troubling' and said they would be addressing the matter with the host
  • Rivera subsequently apologized for the series of tweets?
  • Lauer was axed from the Today Show Wednesday morning amid allegations of sexual assault and misconduct were lobbed against him by female NBC staffers
  • Rivera's comments also led to a 1991 interview with Bette Midler to resurface, in which she claimed the newsman groped her in the early 1970s?

Bette Midler is demanding that Geraldo Rivera apologize to her for an alleged groping incident from 40 years ago, a day after the Fox News contributor seemingly defended Matt Lauer and called the news business 'flirty'.?

In a tweet posted Thursday by Midler and confirmed by her publicist, the award-winning actress-singer called on Rivera to make amends to her for an assault she said occurred in the 1970s.

She also posted a video from an interview with Barbara Walters in 1991. In the clip, Midler told Walters that Rivera and a producer drugged and groped her.

She described the recording of the 26-year-old interview a 'gift from the universe' to her for her 71st birthday, which she will be celebrating on Friday.?

Bette Midler
Geraldo Rivera

Bette Midler (left) is renewing an allegation of sexual misconduct against Geraldo Rivera (right) dating back to the 70s, a day after Rivera called the news business 'flirty'

Public demand: Midler, who turns 71 Friday, demanded on Twitter that Rivera apologize to her for alleged groping, which she first brought up in 1991

Public demand: Midler, who turns 71 Friday, demanded on Twitter that Rivera apologize to her for alleged groping, which she first brought up in 1991

'Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this,' the Hello, Dolly! star tweeted to her 1.27million followers, adding the hashtag, '#MeToo.'

A representative for Rivera didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox News has responded with a stern statement in response to comments Rivera made on Twitter Wednesday, seemingly expressing support for the ousted NBC host.

After the Today show host was sacked on Wednesday for sexual harassment, Rivera came to Lauer's defense on Twitter, calling him a 'great guy' and 'a real gentleman'.

'News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation,' Rivera said.

He went on to say that he thinks sexual harassment allegations should be made in a 'timely fashion' and include evidence like written communications or witnesses in order for them to be taken seriously.?

'With [cash] settlements in the multi-millions slight chance exists some victims are motivated by more than justice,' he said.??

Rivera's company, Fox News, which has had its own sexual harassment scandals with former CEO Roger Ailes and anchor Bill O'Reilly, issued a stern response to Rivera's comments.

'Geraldo's tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him,' the company said.

Rivera said he was 'sad' to hear about Lauer's firing for sexual harassment, saying he was a 'great guy' and a 'real gentleman'?

Rivera said he was 'sad' to hear about Lauer's firing for sexual harassment, saying he was a 'great guy' and a 'real gentleman'?

In the series of tweets he 'mansplained' about how allegations should be made and called alleged victims who received settlements could be 'motivated by more than justice'

In the series of tweets he 'mansplained' about how allegations should be made and called alleged victims who received settlements could be 'motivated by more than justice'

'A jerk's a jerk.' Rivera mansplains what sexual harassment is, but these tweets were sent just a half hour after the bombshell report in Variety came out

'A jerk's a jerk.' Rivera mansplains what sexual harassment is, but these tweets were sent just a half hour after the bombshell report in Variety came out

'Geraldo's tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him,' the company said in a statement?

'Geraldo's tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him,' the company said in a statement?

It appeared in Rivera's final tweet on the matter, shortly after 10pm EST, Rivera had in fact read the reports out about Lauer and offered an apology.

'Reaction to my tweets today on sex harassment 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.?

Rivera's comments sparked the 1991 interview with Bette Midler to surface, in which she accused Rivera of groping her in the early 1970s.

In the Midler interview with Barbra Walters, the legendary stage and screen diva recounts her first time meeting Rivera, and says the meeting was 'not funny,' and that she might get in 'trouble' for the story of what happened when they met, but tells it anyway.

'Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the '70s, in the early '70s. This was when he was very hot,' she explained.

'He and his producer left the crew in the other room, they pushed me into my bathroom, they pushed two poppers under my nose, and proceeded to grope me. I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly.'??

After Rivera's tweets, a interview surfaced in which Bette Midler accused Rivera of groping her in the 1970s ?

After Rivera's tweets, a interview surfaced in which Bette Midler accused Rivera of groping her in the 1970s ?

Rivera shown here in the early 70's, when the legendary singer had alleged she was groped by the journalist/ talk show host
Bette Midler, 1970s

Rivera is pictured on the left in 1974 and Midler is pictured on the right in 1977

The explanation of how Midler first met Rivera was prompted by the journalist's own claims that he had an affair with the singer.

He said he and Midler had an affair in his autobiography titled 'Exposing Myself' (1991).

At first, when asked about it by Walters, Midler laughs off the claim, saying his 'penis got to his brain,' but then goes into the details of what she says happened when she met him that first time in the early 1970s.

Midler signed off by telling Walters had she known he was going to become a 'slimy talk show host,' she 'wouldn't have let him in the room.'?

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