Here’s Bette Midler in 1991 Talking About Geraldo Rivera Drugging and Groping Her Without Consent

As the world grapples with the
recent revelations
of Matt Lauer’s alleged inappropriate
sexual behavior towards his colleagues and the
button under his desk
that turned his workspace from an
office to a playground for sexual misconduct, many have Taken
to Twitter to share their thoughts. This includes Geraldo
Rivera:

Mercifully, Rivera appears not to know how to thread tweets,
but if you click on that first tweet, you’ll see that his
thoughts continue. Here’s another:

Seems like Geraldo cares a lot about this issue. Why ever could
that be?

In 1991, Geraldo Rivera published a memoir called Exposing
Myself
, which, per the Washington Post’s
review
of the book, promised to reveal what “his public was
dying to know about his alleged conquests of Bette Midler” and
other luminaries. In the above clip—recently
tweeted
by reporter Kinsey Schofield— of Bette Midler
talking about Rivera, though, her side of the story is
different.

Per the Washington Post, here’s what Rivera had to say
about his encounter with Midler: “We were in the bathroom,
preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands
on her breasts.” Consent, implied or otherwise, is murky in
Rivera’s description, but what Midler tells a pink-suited
Barbara Walters is much more distressing:

“One thing I do remember—and that was how I met Geraldo—and
that was not funny,” Midler says. “Should I tell you?” When
Walters responds with a steady “Why not?” Midler demurs, saying
that she doesn’t want to “get in trouble,” but at Walter’s
encouragement, she relays the following tale.

Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in
the ‘70s, in the early ‘70s. This was when he was very hot.
He and his producer left the crew in the other room, they
pushed me into my bathroom, they pushed two poppers under my
nose, and proceeded to grope me…I did not offer myself up
on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly.

Midler laughs it off, eventually saying that had she known
Rivera was going to be a “slimy talk show host,” twenty years
later, she “never would have let him in the room.”

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