Update, Dec. 4, 2017: Geraldo Rivera and his mustache finally gave Bette Midler her birthday wish — he apologizes for the alleged assault, but (channeling his inner Attorney General Jeff Sessions), Rivera said he doesn’t "recall" the events the way the Hocus Pocus actress does.
Rivera apologized (via Twitter) to Midler on Friday for allegedly drugging her and groping her in the early ‘90s.
In the first tweet, Rivera wrote he “regretted” writing about “consensual events” in his “tawdry” book.
His second tweet contained the apology-ish:
"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. Bette, I apologize."
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— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) December 1, 2017
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. Bette, I apologize.— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) December 1, 2017
Original article: Bette Midler accused Geraldo Rivera of sexual misconduct 16 years ago...
...and she's still waiting for his apology.
When Geraldo Rivera started stress tweeting about the accusations and subsequent firing of Today show host Matt Lauer on Wednesday, the Twitterverse collectively said, “The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks." Rivera has his own skeletons, according to Bette Midler.
The anxiety here is really just popping off the screen pic.twitter.com/AwbxIP9ipx— Kia Makarechi (@Kia_Mak) November 29, 2017
During an interview with Barbara Walters that aired on national television, Midler accused Rivera of sexual assault. She was afraid she'd get in trouble telling the story about Rivera allegedly groping her. She spoke out and 16 years have gone by without the allegations being addressed. The #MeToo movement is empowering people who have endured sexual misconduct to speak up, and the Hocus Pocus actress is replaying the tape.
Midler tweeted out a pre-birthday #metoo post on Thursday that included a clip from the interview. She described when she first met "the altar of Geraldo Rivera."
“Tomorrow is my birthday,” the singer, actress and Hollywood icon wrote. “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. #MeToo”
Tomorrow is my birthday. 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. #MeToo pic.twitter.com/TkcolFWfA2— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 30, 2017
“Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me in the ‘70s, the early ‘70s,” Midler told Walters in 1991. “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.”
“Grope?” Walters asked with a concerned look.
“Groped me,” Midler answered. “I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly. His behavior was unseemly.”
The interview took place shortly after Rivera published his autobiography, Exposing Myself, in which he claims to have had an affair with the Beaches actress, whom he called “insatiable.”
Midler initially laughed off the remark, saying, "I thought, 'Oh, I needed that at this point in my life.' Just when everyone perceives me as this sort of little old lady type, conservative, somewhat straight-laced.
As the conversation continued, Midler’s tone changed as she explained the “affair” she remembers was quite different from the former talk show host’s version of events.
"And that was not funny," Midler said.
Midler said she was worried she "might get in trouble" by telling her story. After the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke and a flood of #MeToo posts and stories surfaced, targets of sexual misconduct have felt supported enough to finally tell their stories.
On Wednesday, Rivera tweeted, "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-Often victims are too frightened to come forward in a timely fashion-I humbly apologize," but has not tweeted since.
Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment makes clear— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) November 30, 2017
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
Metro reached out to Geraldo Rivera and Fox News, where Rivera appears as a "Fox News correspondent at-large," for comment, but there has been no reply as of time of publication.