Geraldo Rivera Apologizes to Bette Midler Following Groping Accusations

Geraldo Rivera has offered an apology to Bette Midler in the midst of her resurfaced groping accusations, but did not actually admit to any sexual misconduct.

"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 — I'm embarrassed & profoundly sorry to those mentioned — I have & again apologize to anyone offended," Rivera wrote in a series of tweets posted on Friday.

"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 embarrassing her all those years ago," he continued. "Bette, I apologize."

A decades-old video clip of Midler speaking with Barbara Walters when she first accused Rivera of drugging and groping her in the 1970s resurfaced earlier this week after Rivera seemingly defended Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC for "inappropriate sexual behavior" on Tuesday.

Rivera's tweets come a day after Midler took to Twitter to demand an apology from Rivera for his actions many years 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.

Rivera initially expressed sympathies for Lauer, who allegedly sexually harassed his co-workers and employees for years, and said that the industry is partially to blame for Lauer's actions. "News is a flirty business," the Fox News personality previously wrote. "#SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation."

Fox denounced Rivera's statement, saying, "We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him."

Rivera then apologized for his intial response to the Lauer scandal.


"Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment makes clear I didn't sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden," Rivera tweeted. "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."