- The Washington Times - Friday, December 1, 2017

Geraldo Rivera apologized Friday morning after Bette Midler renewed her allegation that he drugged and groped her in the 1970s.

“Although I recall the time @BetteMidler has alluded to much differently than she,” Mr. Rivera tweeted, “that does not change the fact that she has a right to speak out & demand an apology from me, for in the very least, publically [sic] embarrassing her all those years ago. Bette, I apologize.”

The apology comes after Ms. Midler on Thursday tweeted a clip of her telling Barbara Walters during a 1991 interview that the first time she met Mr. Rivera was a “very unpleasant” experience. The 71-year-old singer said Mr. Rivera and his then-producer pushed her into a bathroom, forced her to inhale the recreational drug alkyl nitrite and then “proceeded to grope” her.

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

Mr. Rivera, 74, addressed the encounter in his 1991 memoir “Exposing Myself,” in which he said he “put his hands” on Ms. Midler’s breasts while preparing for an interview with her in the bathroom. Mr. Rivera apologized on Friday for the “distasteful & disrespectful tone” he took in the memoir and to the women he named in the book.

“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,” he wrote. “I’m embarrassed & profoundly sorry to those mentioned-I have & again apologize to anyone offended.”

Ms. Midler has not yet responded to Mr. Rivera’s apology.

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