A few hours later, she went into more detail by sharing the interview, which was already making the rounds on social media after Rivera faced backlash for defending Matt Lauer Wednesday he was fired for "inappropriate sexual behavior."
Midler referred to the public's interest in the old interview an early birthday gift from the universe. "Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this," she wrote.
Tomorrow is my birthday. 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. #MeToo pic.twitter.com/TkcolFWfA2
In the interview, Walters and Midler were discussing Rivera's autobiography in which he alleges an affair with Midler. Initially laughing it off by saying his "penis went to his head," Midler got serious and said that she was assaulted by Rivera and a producer when she first met him. She was hesitant at first to tell the story, for fear she'd "get in trouble," and after she was finished, Walters didn't follow up, rather saying, "Let's go onto other things."
As Midler recalled at the time, the alleged assault happened in the 1970s. "[Rivera and his producer] pushed me into my bathroom, they broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me," she said.
Midler raised her arms and added passionately. "I did not alter myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera," saying that "his behavior was unseemly." Rivera has not responded to her comments.
In a series of tweets after Lauer's firing, Rivera wondered if the current harassment scandal dominating Hollywood and other industries is a case of "criminalizing courtship," describing news as a "flirty business." After Fox News condemned his comments, Rivera later tweeted an apology in which he said, "I didn't sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden...I humbly apologize."