The Gossip Room

Geraldo Rivera drugged, then tried to rape Bette Midler, she fought back

Bette Midler was forcibly drugged and groped by Geraldo Rivera and his Producer in the 1970s


Geraldo Rivera has had a fairly bad day—after he seemed to be defending Matt Lauer a bit too vigorously over the sexual harassment and worse allegations by Lauer's former colleagues—Bette Midler asked the man for an apology for his criminal conduct and assault against her…

A video has been rediscovered where Bette is interviewed by Barbara Walters, in 1991, where she describes an attempted rape, and forced drugging that she was able to resist…

Bette Midler and Dustin Hoffman, 1977, during a TV appearance

Bette Midler and Dustin Hoffman, 1977, during a TV appearance

“This was when Rivera was very, sort of, hot,”… “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.”… “Groped me. I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was… he was unseemly.” — Bette Midler, video Part 1, Part 2

Geraldo has a very different memory of the incident, and accidentally-confesses in this passage from his autobiography…

Geraldo Rivera, in the 1970's

Geraldo Rivera, in the 1970's

“We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts,” — Geraldo Rivera, with a very different perspective in his book “Exposing Myself

Rivera at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2008 Public Policy Conference
By SRintoul at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Rivera at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2008 Public Policy Conference
By SRintoul at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

“It was almost like sex was free! You have no HR – no human resources – no workplace rules against it, lots of money, relative youthfulness, a young staff, surrounded by sycophants and enablers, people smoking joints openly in their office…” — Geraldo Rivera, More Here

As Geraldo Rivera lamented the loss of the “good old days”, when men could get away with sexual assaults and pined for the “flirty nature” of the media in the 70s, Bette Midler was given an early Birthday Present…

“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” — Bette Midler, Twitter

Midler at the premiere of her feature-film starring debut, The Rose, in 1979.
photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0

Midler at the premiere of her feature-film starring debut, The Rose, in 1979.
photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0

Geraldo has yet to respond or apologise to Bette Midler for this assault, she is not asking for the police to get involved either, just for an apology. Fox News—who have lost many of their “beloved anchors” and executives to sexual assault and related charges—have also not commented on this attack.

May 2 2011, Rivera learns that Osama Bin Laden has been killed
By Mark Taylor from Rockville, USA - Geraldo Rivera at White House, CC BY 2.0

May 2 2011, Rivera learns that Osama Bin Laden has been killed
By Mark Taylor from Rockville, USA - Geraldo Rivera at White House, CC BY 2.0

Geraldo did make allusions to an apology, but did not mention Bette Midler or any specific victims; or even make a serious confession, more of a general call-out or damnation of “harassers” as a group.

“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” — Geraldo Rivera, Twitter

Bette Midler performing on her Divine Intervention Tour in 2015
By Alan Light - CC BY 2.0

Bette Midler performing on her Divine Intervention Tour in 2015
By Alan Light - CC BY 2.0

Bette Midler has not made any more statements on the incident, but I’m fairly certain this is not the final words we shall hear about this particular assault.

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