Geraldo Rivera defends Matt Lauer amid sexual harassment allegations and says 'news is a flirty business'

  • Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera tweeted his support for former NBC anchor Matt Lauer, calling him a "great guy" and blaming the news business for his behavior.
  • Rivera tweeted a similar statement of support for former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes in July 2016.
  • Lauer has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women at NBC, including one whom he allegedly called into his office to have sex with. 

Lawyer and frequent Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera tweeted his support on Wednesday for ousted NBC anchor Matt Lauer amid wide-ranging allegations that Lauer sexually harassed his co-workers, appearing to excuse his alleged behavior because Lauer is a "great guy" and "news is a flirty business."

"Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me. News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?" Rivera wrote, referencing former Minnesota Public Radio host Garrison Keiller, who was let go by MPR for inappropriate behavior on Wednesday.

70 PHOTOS
High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing dozens of women, including a number of well-known celebrities, over the past several decades.

(REUTERS/Gus Ruelas)

Matt Lauer was fired from 'Today' after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct that allegedly included giving a co-worker a sex toy and dropping his pants in front of a female employee in his office.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual assault by two women from the Amazon series, "Transparent."  

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Sen. Al Franken is accused of kissing a groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eleven women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, (D) Nevada, was accused of making repeated, unwanted propositions for dates and sex to a woman that once worked on his campaign.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hundreds of women accused longtime Hollywood writer and director James Toback of sexual harassment.

(TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of forcing women to watch him masturbate, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Director Bret Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 years old.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Roger Ailes, the former president of Fox News Channel, was accused of sexually harassing former anchor Gretchen Carlson and several other women from the network.

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Several women accused TV host Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, including groping and lewd phone calls.

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Bill Cosby has faced sexual assault allegations from about 60 women, including several women who claim he drugged them.

(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

Mark Schwahn, the former "One Tree Hill" showrunner, was accused of sexual harassment by a large number of the show's cast and crew.

(Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)

Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

(REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)

Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Actor Casey Affleck settled lawsuits out of court wth two women who accused him of sexual harassment.  

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Film Independent)

Bill O'Reilly has reportedly made numerous settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic congressman was sentenced to 21 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting a teenage girl.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing women while he worked at ABC News.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Singer R. Kelly is accused of holding women against their will in houses in Illinois and Georgia in a reported 'sex cult.'

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Former Fox Host Eric Bolling was accused of sending unsolicited lewd text messages to female colleagues.

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Director Roman Polanski fled the US after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Several other women have also come forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

(REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

Chef John Besh stepped down from the company he founded after female employees reported facing sexual harassment there. 

(Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Photographer Terry Richardson was labeled the 'Harvey Weinstein of Fashion' by the Sunday Times amid widespread accusations of sexual harassment by models.

(Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage)

Singer Kesha accused Lukasz Gottwald aka Dr. Luke of drugging and sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.

(Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

Former champion boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a Miss Black America contestant in 1992. 

(REUTERS/Michael Clevenger/POOL)

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by dozens of his former patients and athletes.

(JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Music mogul L.A. Reid left his position as Epic Records CEO/Chairman in 2017 amid harassment claims by a female assistant.

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price resigned following reports that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress' allegation of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein.

(Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)

Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

(REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

Chris Savino (right), creator of  'The Loud House' was suspended by Nickelodeon after being accused of making unwanted advances toward multiple women.

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SCAD)

Actor Steven Seagal was accused of sexual misconduct by Inside Edition's chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images,)

Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director of National Public Radio, was accused of inappropriate conduct with two women in 1990s.

(REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad)

Dustin Hoffman was accused of sexually harassing a production assistant when he was 48 and she was a high school senior.

(REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)

Jeremy Piven was accused by actress Ariane Bellamar of groping her on two separate occasions. Piven 'unequivocally' denied the allegations.

(REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Ben Affleck apologized for acting 'inappropriately' towards Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live" in 2003.

(REUTER/Dylan Martinez

Andy Dick was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct on set, including groping people’s genitals, unwanted kissing/licking and sexual propositions.

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

Four women, including several that were also fellow Scientologists, have accused actor Danny Masterson of sexual assault, according to HuffPost.

 (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Actor Ed Westwick was accused by actress Kristina Cohen of raping her in his home.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

David Guillod, producer of 'Atomic Blonde,' is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several woman.

(Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)

Andrew Kreisberg, the showrunner for "Supergirl," was suspended in November 2017 amid numerous sexual harassment allegations by members of his staff.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Actor Tom Sizemore was reportedly told to leave a film set in 2003 after an 11-year-old actress told her mother that he had touched her genitals.

(REUTERS/Phil McCarten)

Steve Jurvetson left his own venture capital firm after allegations of sexual harassment

(Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

A former model accused George Takei of sexually assaulting him 36 years ago.

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/FilmMagic)

Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulted her at an award ceremony in 2013.

(REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

A former writer for 'Mad Men' said the show's creator Matthew Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Ron Jeremy has been accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women and the allegations span more than 30 years.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Multiple women accused producer Adam Fields of touching them inappropriately and sexually propositioning them.

(Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

(Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, was accused of crossing the line with employees, including unwanted hugs.

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

Singer Nick Carter was accused of rape by a former member of the all-girl teen band Dream, Melissa Schuman.

(Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

A singer accused billionaire Richard Branson of sexual assault during an event as his Necker Island in the Caribbean. Branson says he has no recollection of the matter.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Talent agent Adam Venit is accused of grabbing actor Terry Crews' genitals.

(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez), Marilyn Manson former longtime bassist, was accused of rape by singer Jessicka Addams.

(Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)

Lockhart Steele, Vox Media's editorial director was fired after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment.

(Photo by Hal Horowitz/WireImage for Haute Magazine)

Producer Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein's brother, has also been accused of sexual harassment. 

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

Jesse Lacey of  the band, Brand New, was accused of sexual misconduct, including soliciting nude photos from a teen girl in the past.

(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns)

Senior Correspondent for E! News Ken Baker California was accused of sexual harassment by two women.

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

American film director Oliver Stone was accused of groping model and actress Carrie Stevens in the 1990s.

(Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)

Reporter Glenn Thrush was suspended by the New York Times after several women accused him of acting inappropriately when they were young journalists.

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Veteran radio host Garrison Keillor was fired by Minnesota Public Radio following claim of improper behavior.

(Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)

CNN producer Teddy Davis was fired after multiple accusations of harassment.

(Photo via Twitter)

Producer Russell Simmons stepped down from his companies following sexual assault and harassment accusations from two women.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Longtime conductor James Levine was suspended by New York's Metropolitan Opera after sexual abuse claims.

(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)

Dylan Howard, editor in chief of the National Enquirer, was accused of sexual misconduct by several former employees, including forcing them to watch porn and openly discussing his sexual partners.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

"X-Men" director Bryan Singer was accused of raping a 17-year-old boy on a yacht in a lawsuit filed in December.

(REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

Harold Ford, Jr.

(Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Chef Mario Batali has been accused by multiple women of "inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades."

(Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

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Rivera posted a similar tweet in July 2016 in reference to now-deceased former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes who had also been accused of sexual harassment, writing that he is "about as flirty as the grizzly in #TheRevenant."

NBC News chairman Andy Lack informed the network's employees of Lauer's firing on Wednesday via a memo that stated that an unnamed employee had reported his behavior to superiors sometime on Monday night.

After the firing, the details of Lauer's alleged harassment emerged. Lauer allegedly gave a sex toy to one female colleague, accompanied by a note about how he wanted to use it on her. He also allegedly exposed himself to another female employee after summoning her to his office, then reprimanded her for not participating in a sexual act, according to a Variety investigation.

Since then, two more accusers have emerged, with one alleging he summoned her to his office to have sex with him.

13 PHOTOS
Geraldo Rivera through the years
See Gallery
Geraldo Rivera through the 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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