Bette Midler wants apology from Geraldo Rivera for groping

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Midler stands by her decades-old allegations that Rivera and a producer forcibly groped her in the early ’70s

Wire Reports

LOS ANGELES – Bette Midler’s birthday is on December 1, and what she wants this year is an apology from Geraldo Rivera.

Midler is standing by her decades-old allegations that Rivera and a producer forcibly groped her in the early ’70s.

Midler, 71, tweeted footage Thursday from a 1991 interview with Barbara Walters in which she accuses Rivera and a crew member “pushed” her into the bathroom before placing their hands on her.

“Tomorrow is my birthday. I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me,” Midler tweeted along with the video. “Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this.”

During the interview with Walters, which first resurfaced online earlier this week, Midler said her encounter with the longtime journalist took place when he came to see her for an interview.

“This was when he was very, sort of, hot,” Midler explained. “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.”

When Walters expressed her shock by the story, Midler reiterated the words “grope me.”

“I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera,” she said. “He was unseemly. His behavior was unseemly.”

Midler did not provide the exact year where the alleged incident took place. Rivera, 74, worked as a journalist for ABC throughout the 1970s.

The “Hello Dolly” actress’ tweet comes a day after Rivera seemed to defend now-former “Today” show host Matt Lauer, who was ousted Wednesday by NBC after the network received a complaint accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior.

“Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me,” Rivera wrote in one tweet. “News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation.”

He also suggested a “slight chance exists” that some accusers are “motivated” by big-money settlements.

Rivera apologized for his remarks shortly after, which Midler referred to in her tweet Thursday.

An agent for Rivera did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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