Bette Midler Shares #MeToo Story About Geraldo Rivera -- And It's Horrifying

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter/Bette Midler

Video of a 1991 interview shows Midler detailing an alleged incident of being drugged and groped by Rivera

As the #metoo stories continue to pour in at an alarming (and infuriating) rate, Bette Midler adds her alleged account of being assaulted in the 1970s by Geraldo Rivera.

Today is The Divine Miss M’s birthday, and what better way to ring it in than by adding her alleged attacker’s name to the ever-growing list of disgusting men who abused their power by harassing and assaulting women? Midler shared video on Twitter of part of an interview she did with Barbara Walters in 1991 where she described Rivera and his producer allegedly drugging and groping her. The former talk show host was recently defending Matt Lauer in the wake of chilling allegations against him resulting in the loss of his job.

Maybe now we know why Rivera sympathized with him.

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

In the one-minute clip, Midler describes a horrifying alleged incident where Rivera and his producer assaulted her. She says it occurred in the early 1970s when Rivera was interviewing her, a time when he was “sort of hot,” she explains. At first, Midler expresses concern she’ll “get in trouble” for talking about what happened to her, but she does it anyway.

She says the two men left the crew in another room and pushed Midler into her bathroom. She says they “broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me.”

After telling the story, Midler tells a visibly stunned Walters, “I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly. His behavior was unseemly.”

Please note that Walters tried hushing her and moving things on to a different topic as Midler continued scorching the earth.

“I’ll tell you the truth, if I had known 20 years later he was going to end up a slimy talk show host I never would have even let him in the room,” she said. “I mean you have no way of knowing that these things are going to come back to haunt you.”

Midler appears to have shared the video in response to gross tweets made by Rivera on Wednesday in defense of Lauer.

Rivera didn’t stop at defending Lauer’s alleged behavior in the “flirty” news environment. He didn’t stop at praising him for being “highly skilled,” “empathetic,” and “a gentleman.” He went as far as calling the current flood of stories from abused women “an epidemic….of criminalizing courtship.”

Sure. Allegedly drugging a woman and putting your hands on her sounds very date-like.

Then, he tweeted his own proposed rules of exactly when it’s appropriate and acceptable for a woman to come forward with allegations of inappropriate conduct. Rivera throws in the insulting suggestion that some women sharing their stories might be out for money, just to put a cherry on top of his repulsive take.

After receiving backlash for his horrid views, he makes a lame attempt at an apology.

Then, he speaks to with happened between he and Midler, which he also wrote about in a 1973 book where Rivera detailed an alleged relationship between the two.

And before moving on to tweeting about politics in a brazen attempt to change the subject, he apologizes to Midler and suggests she might remember what happened between them differently. Because of course he did.

As the powerful men of Hollywood continue to fall and more and more lame “apologies” roll in, it appears women have become emboldened to share things that happened ages ago as well as things that happened recently — because at long last, the world is finally listening.

Let’s hope our well of terrible stories soon runs dry — and that until then, the listening continues.

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