Bette Midler renews sexual misconduct allegation against Geraldo Rivera

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor
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Bette Midler renews sexual misconduct allegation against Geraldo Rivera

She first made an allegation against the former talk show host more than 25 years ago.

Bette Midler has asked for an apology from Fox News presenter Geraldo Rivera, who she has accused of sexual misconduct.

The singer and actress, who first made an allegation against the former talk show host more than 25 years ago, renewed her accusation after Rivera apologised for calling the news business “flirty” following Today host Matt Lauer’s firing by NBC.

Midler, 71, took to Twitter to share a video clip of an interview from 1991, in which she alleged that Rivera and his producer had drugged and “groped” her in the early 1970s.

In the interview with broadcaster Barbara Walters, Midler said: “If I had known 20 years later he was going to wind up a slimy talk show host, I never would have let him in the room.

“You have no way of knowing at the time that these things are going to come back to haunt you.”

Along with her tweet, Midler wrote: “Tomorrow is my birthday. I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me.

“Geraldo may have apologised for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologise for this. #MeToo.”

Rivera came under fire on Wednesday when he tweeted that the sexual harassment issue is “so red hot right now there is no room for any thought or opinion but hang em high”, shortly after it was revealed that Lauer had been fired by NBC over sexual misconduct allegations.

He added: “If News wasn’t (formerly) a flirty biz then how do we explain so many newsroom courtships that have led to happy marriages?”

He had also tweeted that it was “sad about (Lauer)” and that “it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalising courtship and conflating it”.

Rivera, 74, later apologised for his messages, writing: “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 apologise.”

A representative for Rivera has been contacted for comment.