BetteBack November 3, 1991: Midler vs Geraldo Gets Ugly

Pacific Stars And Stripes
November 5, 1991


NEW YORK (AP) – Bette Midler, one of several women an American talk show host claims in his recent autobiography to have seduced, says the man drugged her and forced himself on her, a newspaper reported.

Writer Kevin Sessums, who wrote a profile on the movie star for the December issue of Vanity Fair magazine, has related her version of the encounter with Geraldo Rivera, the Daily News reported.

Sessums gave the interview to the “Entertainment Tonight,” an evening TV show that dwells on celebrity news and scandal.

“It was, like, 20 years ago,” the Daily News quotes Sessums as saying. “He came into her apartment. He and his producer proceeded to push her into the bathroom and put poppers under her nose, grope her and molest her, not even saying ‘Hello. How are you? My name is
Geraldo.’ ”

Poppers are amyl nitrate, a stimulant often used to heighten sexual arousal.

In the interview, to be broadcast Monday, Sessums said Midler told him: “He didn’t rape me, but it was close.”

In Rivera’s autobiography, “Exposing Myself,” published two months ago, Rivera wrote this account of the bathroom rendezvous: “We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts. She loved it, and we fellinto a passionate embrace.

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