News & Info
Bette Midler Says Geraldo Rivera Has ‘Yet to Apologize’ for Allegedly Groping Her in the 1970s
The 71-year-old singer spoke out about the veteran journalist on Twitter on Thursday after a video of a 1991 interview Midler did with Barbara Walters — where she first recounted the incident — resurfaced online.
It had gained traction because Rivera defended TODAY show anchor Matt Lauer, who was fired for alleged sexually inappropriate behavior.
“Tomorrow is my birthday. I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me,” Midler wrote in a tweet that accompanied the video of her Walters interview. “Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this.”
She ended her message by using the popular “#MeToo” hashtag, used by victims of sexual harassment assault to express their own experiences.
In her interview with Walters, Midler recounted the alleged incident after Walters asked about Rivera’s claim that he and the stage star had a sexual encounter.
“Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the ’70s, the early ’70s,” Midler said. “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.” (The word “poppers” is slang for the recreational drug alkyl nitrite.)
Walters cocked her head to the side and looked shocked as she asked, “Grope…?”
Midler nodded and said, “Groped me. I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was … he was unseemly.”
PEOPLE has reached out to Midler’s and Rivera’s representatives for comment but has yet to receive a response.