It’s been a tumultuous few months in the US for Hollywood celebrities and DC swamp dwellers. Thanks to Harvey Weinstein’s inability to keep it in his pants, a long-fractured damn has finally burst, and now we’re being flooded with a broad array of sex abuse accusations.
From Ben Affleck to Al Franken, there’s seemingly no end to the scandals, as every week brings about new cases. The latest celeb to join the ranks of accused is Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera.
As reported at the Hill, actress Bette Midler said Thursday that Rivera should apologize for supposedly drugging and groping her in the 1970s. While the sudden accusations appear to have come out of left field, there is a reason for Midler pointing the finger.
Earlier this week, one of the biggest names in the news media, Matt Lauer, was accused of sexual harassment and subsequently fired from his lucrative post at NBC. It’s a rather shocking ordeal that’s still shrouded in mystery, but despite that, Rivera took to Twitter on Wednesday to defend Lauer.
Rivera tweeted, “Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me. News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?”
He continued, “A jerk’s a jerk in dating. #SexHarassment should be confined to situations where superior imposes himself on subordinate who feels unable to complain because of power of perp or feared consequences to victim’s employment. Shouldn’t be used to get even w bad bosses or hated ex’s.”
Neither Bette Midler or Rivera’s employer, Fox News, were happy to see him defending Lauer so brazenly on a public forum. A Fox News Channel spokeswoman said Wednesday that the network is “troubled” by contributor Rivera’s comments regarding sexual harassment in the media.
As for Midler, she lashed out at what she saw as rank hypocrisy, letting the world know of Rivera’s actions against her. On top of the allegations, she also tweeted an old video where she mentioned Geraldo’s crimes while being interviewed by Barbara Walters, which adds some credibility to her claims.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me,” Midler tweeted along with the clip. “Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this.” Midler added the “Me Too” hashtag to her tweet.