Bette Midler calls out Geraldo Rivera for defending Matt Lauer

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Bette Midler gave herself an early birthday present Thursday — a big slice of revenge against Geraldo Rivera.

Angry that the FOX News correspondent had tweeted his support for disgraced former "Today" show host Matt Lauer, Midler posted part of an interview she did with Barbara Walters back in 1991 in which she claimed that Rivera and his producer drugged and groped her.

Image: Bette Midler

"I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me," she wrote. "Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this."


In the video, Midler told Walters "I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera."

"He was unseemly," she said in the 26-year-old interview. "His behavior was unseemly."

At the time, Midler, who turns 72 on Friday, found herself being questioned about the alleged encounter after Rivera published an autobiography in which he boasted that he'd bedded her back in the 1970s.

"I'll tell you the truth, if I had known 20 years later he was going to end up a slimy talk show host I never would have even let him in the room," she told Walters. "I mean you have no way of knowing that these things are going to come back to haunt you."

Midler was reacting to a tweet that Rivera posted on Wednesday in which he called Lauer a "great guy," labeled television journalism a "flirty business," and accused modern women of "criminalizing courtship."


After the backlash, Rivera apologized in another tweet on Thursday for failing to "sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem."


A representative for Rivera did not return NBC News' requests for response to Midler's post.

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