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Report: Bette Midler Says Geraldo Drugged Her for Sex

November 2, 1991 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Bette Midler, one of several women Geraldo Rivera claims in his recent autobiography to have seduced, says Rivera drugged her and forced himself on her, a newspaper reported today.

Writer Kevin Sessums, who wrote a profile on Midler for the December issue of Vanity Fair magazine, relates her version of the encounter with Rivera in an interview with ″Entertainment Tonight,″ the Daily News reported.

″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 on the syndicated show, Sessums said Midler told him: ″He didn’t rape me, but it was close.″

In ″Exposing Myself,″ Rivera’s autobiography 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 fell into a passionate embrace.″

Rivera called Midler’s charges ″preposterous,″ the News said. The talk show host claimed he had sex with Midler several times and denied that there was ever any force involved.