Bette Midler Demands Apology From Geraldo Rivera for Allegedly Groping Her

Bette Midler is hoping for a birthday present from Geraldo Rivera: an apology for allegedly groping her when they first met decades ago.

"Tomorrow is my birthday," the 71-year-old Midler tweeted Thursday. "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 also included the hashtag #MeToo, which women have been using when sharing their own experiences with sexual harassment.

After Rivera controversially defended Today Show host Matt Lauer after Lauer was fired for sexual harassment, a portion of a 1991 Midler interview went viral. In it, the legendary singer describes being groped when they first met during for an interview.

“Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the ’70s, the early ’70s,” Midler told Barbara Walters in 1991. “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.”

“Groped me," Midler continued. "I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was… he was unseemly.”

The "poppers" Midler was referring to is a recreational drug called alkyl nitrite.

The interview with Midler took place after the publication of Rivera's 1991 memoir Exposing Myself. According to excerpts published by the Washington Post at the time, Rivera wrote, "We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts."

Rivera was criticized for appearing to defend Lauer's behavior on Twitter, calling the news a "flirty business."

"It seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?" Rivera tweeted. He later suggested an all-female morning show host format would be "as unacceptably retro as the other way around."

"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," FOX News said in a statement Thursday.

Riveral later apologized after the negative reaction his comments received.

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"Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment 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," he wrote. "Often victims are too frightened to come forward in a timely fashion. I humbly apologize."

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