TV host Geraldo Rivera has apologised to Bette Midler after she alleged that he groped her in the 70s.

However, he added that he had a different recollection of the incident.

Responding to Midler's claims that he forcibly groped her after he and a producer "pushed" her into a bathroom he tweeted: "Although I recall the time @BetteMidler has alluded to much differently than she, that does not change the fact that she has a right to speak out & demand an apology from me, for in the very least, publically embarrassing her all those years ago," wrote Rivera, 74.

"Bette, I apologize.

The Beaches star turned to Twitter to ask Rivera for an apology after he defended his friend Matt Lauer who was sacked by NBC News this week following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Rivera appeared to justify Lauer's behaviour when he reacted to news of his dismissal, remarking "news is a flirty business". In a series of insensitive tweets he suggested that allegations should be made in a "timely fashion," and claimed that by targetting celebrities some accusers "are motivated by more than justice."

Following a backlash on social media he attempted to clarify his remarks and apologised.

Reacting to Rivera's comment, Midler was reminded of her own encounter with the veteran journalist, which she first alluded to in a 1991 interview with Barbara Walters.

Posting the original interview, the 71-year-old said: "Tomorrow is my birthday. I feel like this video was a gift from the universe to me. Geraldo may have apologized for his tweets supporting Matt Lauer, but he has yet to apologize for this. #MeToo."

According to Ny News, in his book titled Exposing Myself, the 74-year-old had previously appeared to brag about his role in initiating multiple incidents of workplace harassment. Writing on Twitter he expressed his deep reget over the "tawdry" book.

"27 years ago I wrote a tawdry book depicting consensual events in 1973-45 years ago-I've deeply regretted its distasteful & disrespectful tone & have refrained from speaking about it-I'm embarrassed & profoundly sorry to those mentioned-I have & again apologize to anyone offended."

Rivera later apologized for his comments in support of Lauer after facing widespread criticism.