Geraldo Rivera just apologized for “publicly embarrassing” Bette Midler.
Rivera, a Fox News commentator, had defended Matt Lauer on Wednesday after the longtime “Today” host was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct. Rivera tweeted that Lauer was a “great guy” and women who come forward with sexual harassment stories “may be criminalizing courtship.” That evening, after a critical backlash, he apologized for his victim-blaming tweets.
Midler stepped in Thursday, retweeting a 1991 interview in which she accused Rivera of pushing her into a bathroom and groping her in the early 1970s. The entertainer noted that he still hadn’t apologized to her for the alleged assault.
On Friday morning, Rivera finally said he was sorry on Twitter.
“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,” Rivera tweeted.
In a second tweet, Rivera addressed Midler: “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, publicly embarrassing her all those years ago. Bette, I apologize.”
As of Friday afternoon, Midler had not publicly responded to Rivera.
Watch the 1991 interview below in which Midler describes the alleged attack: