Geraldo Rivera says he's 'filled with regret' after defending Roger Ailes

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Geraldo Rivera says he regrets coming to the defense of Roger Ailes after the former Fox News CEO was accused of sexual harassment by network host Gretchen Carlson.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Rivera says that he is "filled with regret" for his actions (though later concedes that "news is a flirty business") and apologizes to all of the "purported victims" of sexual harassment at Fox News and elsewhere.

"The man we knew as the blustering genius who invented our mighty Fox News Channel is a deceitful, selfish misogynist, if the charges against him are true. And if they are true, then his shame and banishment are well earned," he writes. "I was totally blindsided by his sexual harassment scandal, which is why I responded to Gretchen Carlson's initial filing of her lawsuit with extreme skepticism. The man she described in her pleadings was unknown even to those of us who thought we knew him well."

Read more: Gretchen Carlson Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes Ends in Settlement

Rivera, who says he has known Ailes for decades, says he still thinks the former exec is a "hail-fellow well met, a corporate barroom brawler, more likely to tear your throat out than engage in sweet talk," when defending a tweet from July in which he defended Ailes ("I've known him 40 years. He's about as flirty as the grizzly in #TheRevenant. I stand with Roger Ailes").

In Carlson's complaint filed in July, she claimed she was let go from Fox News as retaliation for rebuffing Ailes' sexual advances. She said that she had met with Ailes to discuss treatment and was told, "I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better." On Tuesday, Carlson filed paperwork to dismiss her lawsuit against the former Fox News chief, walking away with a $20 million settlement, according to a source. This week, Greta Van Susteren revealed that she would be leaving the network, weeks after Ailes resigned.

Rivera outlines his professional career with Ailes in his Facebook post, from working with him at CNBC to reuniting after 9/11 at Fox News. "He had my back through thick and thin," he says about Ailes at the time.

PHOTOS: Roger Ailes through the years

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Roger Ailes through the years
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Roger Ailes through the years
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: In this handout photo provided by FOX News, FOX News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is photographed November 13, 2015 at the networks Manhattan headquarters New York City. (Photo by Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images)
Bill O'Reilly, tv columnist, at left, shown here with Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX tv at the Radio & TV Correspondents annual dinner held at the Washington Hilton. (Photo by Susan Biddle/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ST/AILES DATE: 3/23/99 NP PHOTOG: Helayne Seidman/FTWP multi use LOCATION: Fox News, 1211 6th Ave. NYC SUMMARY: Roger Ailes, president of Fox TV CAPTION: Roger Ailes, president of Fox TV, in the Fox TV control room. Original Filename: npsent.JPG ORG XMIT: ; 29
385602 07: Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, right, testifies during a hearing on election night 2000 coverage by the networks before the House committee on energy and commerce February 14, 2001 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. Heads of major news organizations have converged on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress, explaining the mistaken calls made on Election Night and promising changes to prevent further errors. (Photo by Alex Wong/Newsmakers)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 25: Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Network Roger Ailes participates in the 'America's Best Leaders: How do they lead? Where are they taking us?' National Issues Briefing hosted by U.S. News and World Report October 25, 2005 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The talk was held in collaboration with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images for U.S. News and World Report)
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: (L-R) Variety Editor Peter Bart and Producer Roger Ailes attend a cocktail party hosted by Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Miramax Books to celebrate Peter Bart's new book ''BOFFO'' on June 26, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JULY 24: Chairman & CEO, FOX News Roger Ailes from 'Fox News' speaks onstage during the 2006 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour for the FOX Broadcasting Company at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel on July 24, 2006 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Roger Ailes, president of FOX News, poses with his wife Elizabeth on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Fox News President Roger Ailes attends the Hollywood Reporter celebrates 'The 35 Most Powerful People in Media' at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 21: Copies of the new book The Loudest Voice in the Room are displayed at a Books Inc. bookstore on January 21, 2014 in San Francisco, United States. The unauthorized biography of FOX News president Roger Ailes written by New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman hit bookstore shelves on January 14. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: In this handout photo provided by FOX News, FOX News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is photographed November 13, 2015 at the networks Manhattan headquarters New York City. (Photo by Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images)
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After more women came forward with allegations against the former CEO and Ailes resigned, Rivera says that he became convinced there was something wrong. "Now I am filled with regret for stubbornly discounting their various allegations. The Murdoch's would not have turned the world upside down but for good cause. Moreover, I apologize for my skepticism. Like victims of sexual assault, those alleging harassment deserve the presumption of credibility."

He also reveals in the post that because of his defense of Ailes, HarperCollins decided against publishing his upcoming book, Geraldo of Arabia, From Tora Bora to Trump.

In his post, Rivera also apologizes to Gabriel Sherman, who Rivera once called a "nerd with a grudge," saying that Sherman "is on the right side of history. Might does not mean right. I was wrong, and am paying the price."

PHOTOS: Geraldo Rivera through the years

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Geraldo Rivera through their years
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Geraldo Rivera through their years
Participant Geraldo Rivera speaks about the NBC television show "The Celebrity Apprentice" during the TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA)
Television journalist Geraldo Rivera (L) is escorted away after being denied entry to the funeral of slain New York Police Department officer Wenjian Liu in the Brooklyn borough of New York January 4, 2015. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appealed for reconciliation on Sunday in his eulogy for the second of two police officers murdered last month in an ambush that led to accusations the mayor had contributed to an anti-police climate. Liu, 32, and Ramos, 40, were ambushed on December 20 by a killer who said he wanted to avenge the deaths of two unarmed black men this summer at the hands of white officers. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW OBITUARY MEDIA)
SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JULY 23: Geraldo Rivera attends Ellen Hermanson Foundation Starry Night Gala on July 23, 2016 in Southampton, New York. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska are guests on 'Good Morning America,' 3/29/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) GERALDO RIVERA
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Geraldo Rivera poses backstage at the matinee of Andrew Lloyd Webber hit musical 'School of Rock' on Broadway at The Winter Garden Theatre on January 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Geraldo Rivera attends the 'Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day' at Cantor Fitzgerald midtown in New York City. �� LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: Geraldo Rivera attends the 2015 Love Heals Gala at the Four Seasons Restaurant on March 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13: TV host Geraldo Rivera is photographed for 25A Magazine on August 13, 2015 in New York City. PUBLISHED IMAGE. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Portrait)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 16: TV personality/journalist Geraldo Rivera attends the NBCUniversal 2015 Press Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 16, 2015 in Pasadena, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Erica Rivera and Geraldo Rivera attends Erica Rivera's 40th Birthday hosted by Geraldo Rivera at Monkey Bar on January 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Geraldo Rivera)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 16: Geraldo Rivera attends the NBCUniversal 2015 press tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on January 16, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 16: TV host Geraldo Rivera of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' poses for a portrait during the NBCUniversal TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 16, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NUP_166973_1933.JPG
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But he did manage to get in a dig at his television competitors: "The Ailes scandal will continue to percolate at least in part because of the fear and loathing by competitors for Fox News, the ratings leader. Because it suits their perceived competitive advantage, CNN and other news networks will continue to report, repeat and regurgitate every detail in this melancholy saga."

Read more: Michael Wolff: Roger Ailes' Stunning Fall Marks the End of a Murdoch Era


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