Following news that Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC for sexual harassment, TV personality Geraldo Rivera quickly took to Twitter on Wednesday in his defense. “News is a flirty business,” he wrote in one tweet of several. “… & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation.” A few hours later Rivera apologized, but not before two things were widely pointed out: First, he once famously got drunk and tweeted out a nearly naked selfie. Also, Bette Midler once accused him of sexually assaulting her.
Midler first made the claims during a 1991 interview with Barbara Walters. “Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me in the ’70s, the early ’70s. 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,” she said. “I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly. His behavior was unseemly.”
After that interview clip began to circulate online, Midler tweeted it out herself on Thursday with a note: “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.”