After news broke that NBC fired Matt Lauer following accusations of sexual harassment, many around the internet reacted by bringing up the Today co-host’s sketchy past. Geraldo Rivera, however, stuck up for him. In a series of tweets, the problematic Puerto Rican called news a “flirty business” and said that people were conflating “courtship” with “predation.” Because of his inaccurate and harmful messages, Rivera’s own history of sexual harassment has resurfaced. In the 1990s, Bette Midler accused Rivera of groping her during an interview with Barbara Walters.
Midler’s comments came about after Walters asked her about Rivera’s claims that they a sexual encounter, according to People. “Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the ’70s, the early ’70s,” Midler said. “And this was when he 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.”
Though Rivera weakly backtracked on Twitter, he hasn’t made a statement about the newly resurfaced story. But based on his tweets, it’s clear that he lacks a basic understanding of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, and why some don’t report these crimes right away.
In the meantime, Twitter is reminding Geraldo of his own troubling history: