Geraldo Rivera Apologizes After Defending Matt Lauer Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

"I humbly apologize."

Geraldo Rivera was faced with some backlash when he tweeted about Matt Lauer being fired from the Today show over allegations of sexual harassment. 

"Sad about @MLauer -- great guy, highly skilled and empathetic with guests and a real gentleman to my family and me," he tweeted on Wednesday after news broke of Lauer's termination. "News is a flirty business and it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation."

He then called out Minnesota Public Radio personality Garrison Keillor, who was also fired over sexual misconduct allegations. "What about #GarrisonKeillor?" Rivera wrote.

The Fox News host continued to share his views on sexual harassment allegations, adding: "A jerk's a jerk in dating. #SexHarassment should be confined to situations where superior imposes himself on subordinate who feels unable to complain because of power of perp or feared consequences to victim's employment. Shouldn't be used to get even with bad bosses or hated exes."

Some of Rivera's followers did not take too kindly to his comments and neither did Fox News. "Geraldo's tweets do not reflect the views of Fox News or its management," the cable network said in a statement. "We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him."

After being slammed for his tweets, the 74-year-old newsman issued an apology on Twitter. "Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment makes clear I didn't sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden," he wrote. "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."

A number of Lauer's other peers have also reacted to the news of his firing, including his former Today show colleagues. 

A day after breaking the news at the top of the morning show, Savannah Guthrie read aloud Lauer's statement on Today in regard to his termination and the multiple sexual harassment allegations against him. 

"As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed," read the statement in part. "I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job."

Here's more on Lauer's ousting from NBC and the women who have come forward:


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