Fox News publicly condemned host Gerald Rivera’s (pictured) comments appearing to defend Matt Lauer on Wednesday
Fox News has responded with a stern statement in response to comments Geraldo Rivera made on Twitter, seeming to defend Matt Lauer.
After the Today show host was sacked on Wednesday for sexual harassment, Rivera came to Lauer’s defense on Twitter, calling him a ‘great guy’ and ‘a real gentleman’.
‘News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation,’ Rivera said.
He went on to say that he thinks sexual harassment allegations should be made in a ‘timely fashion’ and include evidence like written communications or witnesses in order for them to be taken seriously.
‘With [cash] settlements in the multi-millions slight chance exists some victims are motivated by more than justice,’ he said.
Rivera’s company, Fox News, which has had its own sexual harassment scandals with former CEO Roger Ailes and anchor Bill O’Reilly, issued a stern response to Rivera’s comments.
‘Geraldo’s tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him,’ the company said.
Rivera said he was ‘sad’ to hear about Lauer’s firing for sexual harassment, saying he was a ‘great guy’ and a ‘real gentleman’
In the series of tweets he ‘mansplained’ about how allegations should be made and called alleged victims who received settlements could be ‘motivated by more than justice’
‘A jerk’s a jerk.’ Rivera mansplains what sexual harassment is, but these tweets were sent just a half hour after the bombshell report in Variety came out
‘Geraldo’s tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him,’ the company said in a statement
It appeared in Rivera’s final tweet on the matter, shortly after 10pm EST, Rivera had in fact read the reports out about Lauer and offered an apology.
‘Reaction to my tweets today on sex harassment 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 apologize,’ he wrote.
Rivera’s comments sparked a 1991 interview with Bette Midler to surface, in which she accused Rivera of groping her in the early 1970s.
In the Middler interview with Barbra Walters, the legendary singer and actress recounts her first time meeting Rivera , and says the meeting was ‘not funny,’ and that she might get in ‘trouble’ for the story of what happened when they met, but tells it anyway.
‘Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the ’70s, in the early ’70s. This was when he was very hot,’ she explained.
‘He and his producer left the crew in the other room, they pushed me into my bathroom, they pushed two poppers under my nose, and proceeded to grope me. I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly.’
After Rivera’s tweets, a interview surfaced in which Bette Midler accused Rivera of groping her in the 1970s
Rivera is pictured on the left in 1974 and Midler is pictured on the right in 1977
The explanation of how Midler first met Rivera was prompted by the journalist’s own claims that he had an affair with the singer.
He said he and Midler had an affair in his autobiography titled ‘Exposing Myself’ (1991).
At first, when asked about it by Walters, Midler laughs off the claim, saying his ‘penis got to his brain,’ but then goes into the details of what she says happened when she met him that first time in the early 1970s.
Midler signed off by telling Walters had she known he was going to become a ‘slimy talk show host,’ she ‘wouldn’t have let him in the room.’