The Untold Truth Of Geraldo Rivera

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The following article includes mentions of sexual misconduct allegations.

Veteran TV journalist Geraldo Rivera has been working in the news since the early 1970s. Throughout the longevity of his career, the former "Eyewitness News" reporter once palled around with the likes of the late John Lennon, was dubbed one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 1991, and even won a Peabody Award before he took his career to the national stage. That's not to mention his estimated $20 million fortune, as of this writing, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

But in more recent years, the former "Geraldo" host-turned-conservative Fox News journalist has developed a habit of making headlines for the wrong reasons. From scandalous selfies and life-threatening mistakes to his rather complicated relationship with former President Donald Trump, we've read between the lines to bring you the surprising and lesser-known ups and downs involving this famous television personality. Tune in below for the untold truth of Geraldo Rivera.

What's in a name?

Did you know this television legend's name technically isn't even Geraldo Rivera? And no, we're not talking about the rumor that the journalist allegedly altered his OG moniker from Jerry Rivers in order to exploit his roots and "appeal to Latino viewers," which has officially been debunked by Snopes. Rather, according to Gawker, his birth name is Gerald Michael Riviera. 

As the story goes, Rivera's New York Jewish mother, Lilly Friedman, purposefully misspelled her son's last name of Rivera — after his Puerto Rican father, Cruz Rivera — on his birth certificate in 1943 in an attempt to protect him from senseless discrimination. When a news director suggested that a name that sounded more authentic to his heritage might work in his favor early on in his career, Geraldo Rivera reverted back to the original spelling of his surname and adopted his dad's extended family's pronunciation of his first name. However, this change had long been on his mind. When pressed by an aunt on his father's side on whether he was "ashamed" of his ancestry, Rivera experienced a "[flash] of personal discovery," once noting (via Snopes), "I resolved then and there never voluntarily to use the bastardized spelling again, and as soon as I could afford to, to change it legally."

No doubt, Geraldo Rivera is a household name that generations have come to know.

Geraldo Rivera's memoir was a 'colossal error'

Many celebrities write memoirs as a way to control their own stories. That wasn't exactly the case with Geraldo Rivera, and the resulting autobiography, 1991's "Exposing Myself," came to be "the colossal error of my adult life," as the journalist later admitted to People.

According to New York Magazine, Rivera essentially jumped the gun at writing it after hearing an unauthorized book about him was in the works, and seemingly rushed to air his dirty laundry rather than have someone else do it. Throughout the book's 496 pages, Rivera shares the ups, downs, and romances of his private life — leaving no stone unturned. He detailed romances and affairs with Marian Javits, Bette Midler (more on this below), Liza Minnelli, and others, as reported by People. Decades later, he took to Twitter (via CBS News) to express his regret and embarrassment over what he dubbed a "tawdry" book.

As "Geraldo" producer Marty Berman told New York Magazine, "His agent, his wife, and I all told him not to do it. What he did to himself was worse than anyone would have done. If a movie star wrote it, that would be one thing. But for a newsman, it wasn't gallant. It was macho-a**hole."

He defended Matt Lauer against sexual misconduct allegations

As the #MeToo Movement really kicked off in Hollywood in the fall of 2017, Geraldo Rivera turned heads when he spoke up on behalf of fellow newsman Matt Lauer, who was fired by NBC News that November after a colleague came forward with allegations about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." Rivera tweeted the same day: "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."

Rivera's comments unsurprisingly stirred up a mountain of controversy, and his subsequent responses continued to stoke the fire. In one tweet, Rivera proposed that sexual harassment allegations should meet specific requirements, listing two prerequisites. He claimed all allegations should be made in a "timely fashion-say w/n 5 yrs" and should include "some contemporaneous corroboration, like witnesses, electronic or written communications." He also tweeted that multi-million-dollar settlements could mean "some victims are motivated by more than justice." After all of his outspoken tweeting, Rivera backpedaled by the day's end, writing: "I didn't sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden-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."

Did that sudden humility have something to do with some old Rivera footage that began making the rounds anew?

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Bette Midler claimed he drugged and groped her

In Geraldo Rivera's aforementioned memoir "Exposing Myself," he describes a scandalous relationship with Bette Midler, including this encounter (via The Washington Post): "We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts."

Midler also recalled that moment during a 1991 interview with Barbara Walters — an interview that resurfaced in 2017 as Rivera began speaking out in defense of "courtship" and the "flirty business" of news on Twitter on behalf of Matt Lauer. According to Midler, "Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me in the '70s — the early '70s, and this was when he was very, sort of, hot. And he and his producer left the crew in the other room, they pushed me into my bathroom, they broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me." The term "poppers" refers to a recreational form of alkyl nitrites, which trigger temporary muscle relaxation and a head rush when inhaled. Midler continued, "I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was ... he was unseemly."

In response to the ensuing backlash and resurfaced allegations, Rivera 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. Bette, I apologize."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Geraldo Rivera's daughter escaped a terrorist attack

Tragedy nearly struck the Rivera family in November 2015. Geraldo Rivera's daughter, Simone, was studying abroad in Paris when the city suffered a horrific terrorist attack. She was attending a soccer match where three bombs were detonated, reported Us Weekly. The blasts at the stadium killed multiple people and occurred in conjunction with a mass shooting at a nearby concert. 

"I just thank God she was at the stadium and not at the rock concert," the Fox News correspondent said on air in the aftermath. During those initial moments of panic, Rivera said his child's phone wasn't working, explaining, "You can imagine what it was like for us, as parents, waiting for her to communicate with us. Thank God her friend called her mom, her mom called me."

Father and daughter were thankfully reunited days later in emotional footage shared on Fox News. "It was an amazing relief just to squeeze her and to know that she was safe," he said (via Us Weekly). "All I can say is that the Rivera family is tremendously relieved, but we mourn so much for the other families that have suffered so much here. ... This was a really severe, horrible blow to the soul of the French people."

That naked selfie drama

In July 2013, Geraldo Rivera found himself on the wrong side of the headlines once again, this time for an eye-opening selfie. The newsman posted a half-naked bathroom selfie on Twitter, which instantly made the rounds on social media, per Yahoo! News. The steamy picture shows Rivera standing in the bathroom mirror holding a white towel over his private parts. His chest is exposed, and hair combed back. The caption reads, "70 is the new 50."

What possessed him to post such a pic? Rivera offered a head-scratching explanation about how that racy image hit the internet. "I did a great show on Black-on-Black crime and race relations and the Trayvon Martin fallout and federal charges ... and I get home and there's no one to talk to, everyone's asleep," Rivera told radio station 95.5 FM (via the New York Daily News). "This weekend, it was tequila. I never do tequila when I'm alone, but I had this new bottle that someone had given me for my birthday. By the second one, my fate was sealed." 

Rivera apparently woke up the next day, discovered his selfie was breaking the internet, and at the behest of his kids, he took it down. Posting the selfie "seemed like a great idea at the time," Rivera said.

Geraldo Rivera and that famous mustache

Geraldo Rivera's mustache is probably as famous as his groundbreaking stories and public flubs over the years. In fact, his crumb-catcher caught the attention of the Mustache Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 2015. The unusual organization divides the honorees into respective categories, including music, sports, and historical figures. Rivera was granted a place in the film and television category. Along with a stylish black-and-white photo, the hall of fame wrote a blurb highlighting his illustrious career and labeling the style of his mustache "wing tips." Others in his class include Walter Cronkite, Sam Elliot, Billy Dee Williams, Tom Selleck, and Burt Reynolds.

It's no secret that a man's facial hair can speak volumes about his profession and personality. As Rivera revealed on Fox News in 2014, his stache is older than his wife, Erica Michelle Levy, who is 31 years his junior. In fact, he began growing it in 1968, grouping himself among "the last of the hippies." Facial expert Dr. Allan Peterkin told Fox News that sporting a mustache means, "You're a little provocative, a little defiant. You don't care about what people are projecting onto you."

He was ejected from Iraq for endangering troops

Geraldo Rivera's big mouth landed him in hot water in Iraq back in 2003. According to CNN, while covering the war for Fox News, he gave away his exact location on television while embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. In fact, he reportedly drew a map in the sand while on camera to detail the troops' position. His decision to share sensitive information endangered the lives of Rivera and everyone in the military unit. 

The unit's commander believed Rivera "had compromised operational information by reporting the position and movements of troops," a Pentagon spokesperson named Bryan Whitman told Reuters (via CNN). After that admittedly serious lapse in judgement, Rivera was reportedly escorted out of the combat zone and "dropped at the Kuwait border," as Whitman continued. However, as the TV journalist claimed in his subsequent apology statement (via his website), "My network and I decided it would be best to voluntarily withdraw to Kuwait to review the situation."

Rivera continued to admit that he "should have been more careful," noting, "I was told I violated one of the rules set up by the Pentagon for reporters embedded with the military. ... The review showed that I did indeed break one of the rules related to embedment. I'm sorry that it happened and I assure you that it was inadvertent. Nobody was hurt by what I said. No mission was compromised."

Geraldo Rivera has made controversial remarks on race

At this point, it's probably not too surprising that some have argued that Geraldo Rivera suffers from a terrible case of foot-in-mouth disease. Months after Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager in Florida, was fatally shot by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman in 2012, Rivera suggested the teenager's attire was as much to blame as gunman George Zimmerman. "I am urging the parents of Black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies," he said on Fox News (via HuffPost). When asked to clarify, Rivera added, "When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark-skinned kid like my son Cruz, who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles. Take that hood off, people look at you and they — what do they think? What's the instant identification, what's the instant association?" 

Rivera later apologized for his comments, revealing that his son was "ashamed" of them — but it wasn't the last time his racial commentary ruffled feathers. He also slammed rapper Kendrick Lamar's politically charged 2015 BET Awards performance. "This is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years," Rivera said on Fox News (via BET). "This is exactly the wrong message." Rivera harped on Lamar's lyrics, claiming such music is causing the divide in America. "It is so wrong," he alleged, "so counterproductive." 

Lamar later slammed the news network by sampling Rivera's statement on his acclaimed 2017 album "DAMN."

This TV journalist can take a hit

Geraldo Rivera isn't afraid to get down and dirty. He was famously roughed up during an on-air fight with white supremacists in 1988. Rivera, who was hosting his own talk show called "Geraldo" at the time, suffered a broken nose in the mayhem, reported The New York Times. "These racist thugs are like roaches who scurry in the light of exposure,” he later said. Despite his injury, Rivera reportedly decided not to go to the hospital because he had two more shows to tape. He also opted not to press charges, saying, ”I do not want to be tied up with the roaches."

It turns out this wasn't the first time Rivera got physical with white supremacists. Four years later, he was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge after getting into yet another scuffle, this time with a member of the Ku Klux Klan, per The Buffalo News. According to the outlet, Rivera — who "suffered a badly bitten thumb and cuts" during the incident — had attended a KKK rally in Illinois to tape a segment of his show.

"I didn't get all this way letting little Nazis push me around," he later said (via GazetteXtra), noting that he'd been called racist and anti-Semitic slurs by the man in question, before their fight broke out. Rivera explained, "Obviously, because of my history with some of these organizations, I expect hostility and some suspicion, but I'm not accustomed to an out-and-out assault." Rivera posted bail a few hours after getting booked.

If you or a loved one has experienced a hate crime, contact the VictimConnect Hotline by phone at 1-855-4-VICTIM or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services to help. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

Geraldo Rivera's views on marriage have been deemed sexist

When it comes to marriage and relationships, Geraldo Rivera — who has been married to documentary producer Erica Michelle Levy since 2003 — has a lot to say, and his commentary could be valuable. After all, he's been married five times, but for many, the man undermined his authority when he claimed on a Fox News show that women have little to offer in relationships. "Generally speaking, the man is the breadwinner, although now, increasingly, women do work," he said (via HuffPost). "But I think what a woman brings to a marriage more than anything else — to a relationship — is her youth. Her youth is a fragile and diminishing resource so if a woman were to invest two years in one of these marriages, and then to be rejected by the man, I think she has given up a valuable asset." Wow.

Rivera's statement stirred up a hornet's nest of drama between the sexes. He later took to Twitter to try to clarify his ideas but succeeded only in digging a deeper hole by ultimately standing by his comments. "I ... defy anyone to contradict the substance of my remarks. Of course women bring other vast assets to relationships," he tweeted, but continued, "Still, age weighs unequally on the sexes. Time is money ladies, a precious asset. Don't waste yours on a man who gains everything in Beta BS."

By the way, two of Rivera's marriages lasted just four years, so perhaps those ladies took his advice and decided to make better use of their time.

He claimed a hospital mangled his foot during back surgery

Geraldo Rivera found himself in a very strange predicament when he left the hospital with a mangled foot following back surgery in 2010. According to the New York Post, Rivera attempted to settle a malpractice lawsuit in 2015 between himself and Manhattan's Hospital for Special Surgery. He claimed the hospital somehow destroyed his foot, although it's not exactly clear what happened. Meanwhile, the hospital's lawyer claimed Rivera injured himself in his recovery room by kicking the door of a refrigerator. "I can't jog anymore," Rivera told the Post. "I can't even play tennis, ski. ... I promise any settlement I get, I promise I'm donating 100 percent to charity."

Since the incident, Rivera has shared countless photos of his foot and has continued to blame the hospital for the injury. In 2013, he underwent surgery to correct his crippled toes. In one photo on his Twitter page, Rivera is seen on crutches getting into a car with the caption: "Heading home! Thanks Mt. Sinai Hospital. No thxx Hospital for Special Surgery for botched original job."

Was Geraldo Rivera a serial cheater?

While it's easy to assume Geraldo Rivera has an affinity for women, given his five marriages, it's not so easy to deduce the reasons for his divorces. A 2005 profile in The Atlantic mentioned accusations of infidelity. Rivera's fourth wife, C.C. Dyer, claimed the TV star was "incapable of being faithful," and Rivera confessed he's had indiscretions in the past. "That certainly has been my story," he told the publication. "But not now. I've been clean and sober [sexually speaking] for four years, and I've had a million opportunities, obviously, being on the road." At the time of that interview, Rivera had been married to his fifth wife for two years and divorced from Dyer for five years.

Despite having admittedly stepped out on Dyer, they have since become close friends, with Dyer calling him "the world's best ex-husband." For his part, Rivera later told Oprah Winfrey in 2014 that wife No. 5 Erica Michelle Levy was "the one," going on to quip, "I have been absolutely faithful to my wife. One hundred percent faithful, and given my track record, it's one of the minor miracles. You know, Pope Francis would bless me."

His Al Capone's vault bust was a bust

In 1986, Geraldo Rivera put his career and reputation on the line with a highly anticipated TV special entitled, "The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults." According to the Chicago Tribune, the program was a two-hour live event, broadcast to millions in 14 countries, promising to reveal buried treasure in the basement of a Chicago hotel. "It was an amazing high-profile program — maybe the highest-profile program I've ever been associated with in that it became coffee-table conversation," Rivera told the paper in 2016, 30 years after the footage aired. "So there was a tremendous amount of anticipation, enthusiasm, anxiety and nervousness." 

But as the show progressed, it became increasingly clear that Rivera may be taking audiences on a wild ride that could end empty handed. "There was a terrible, terrible sinking feeling, 'My God, the whole world is watching,'" Rivera recalled. Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened: The entire exploration turned out to be a bust! When the vault was finally opened, Rivera found an old stop sign and several empty gin bottles. He promised critics that if he turned up empty handed, he'd sing a song. He kept his promise, singing the first line from "Chicago," before walking off camera.

"My career was not over, I knew, but had just begun," Rivera wrote his memoir five years later (via Entertainment Weekly). "And all because of a silly, high-concept stunt that failed to deliver on its titillating promise."

Geraldo Rivera's got two left feet

Geraldo Rivera can do many things, but dancing apparently isn't one of them. Despite his aforementioned history of foot problems, the Fox News journalist agreed to join Season 22 of "Dancing with the Stars." He was the first contestant eliminated.

In their first performance, Rivera and partner Edyta Sliwinska danced the Cha Cha to Bruno Mars' "Treasure." The duo layered the complicated dance with a parody of Rivera's infamous Al Capone vault bust, but the gimmick wasn't enough to earn favorable scores from the judges. Out of a possible 30 points, Rivera earned a dismal score of 13. After getting the ax, he dished on his short-lived experience via "Good Morning America," saying, "It was a lot of fun. I wish I could dance better, mainly for Edyta. She's the most superb dancer, she deserved a much better partner. She's so patient and so, so charismatic and wonderfully supportive." Rivera also agreed that he should have been eliminated, noting, "If I didn't get eliminated tonight, I would have demanded a recount."

Rivera did get to dance one final time in his elimination episode — this time impersonating Donald Trump as commander-in-chief.

He's prolific with a pen

Geraldo Rivera has penned a number of books over the years, and while not all of them have been super successful, it's a feat nonetheless. His career as a writer began in the '70s with Willowbrook, an exposé about conditions at a school for children with mentally disabilities, as well as "Puerto Rico: Island of Contrasts" and "A Special Kind of Courage," the latter of which is a collection of profiles about young Americans who acted bravely in moments of crisis. In 2008, the TV journalist published "His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S.," and a year later, he released "The Great Progression: How Hispanics Will Lead America to a New Era of Prosperity."

As a follow-up of sorts to 1991's "Exposing Myself," Rivera released another memoir in 2018 called "The Geraldo Show." It garnered praise from a diverse reading audience that varied from Sean Hannity to Richard "Cheech" Marin. As the man himself wrote in the book's Amazon blurb, "During my half a century in public life, my image and reputation have had more ups and downs than the 'Cyclone' roller coaster at Coney Island. ... At the vigorous twilight of a long and largely improvised life lived in plain sight, I have little left to prove. Faced with a series of random chances, for better and worse, what I made of my life is what I made of those chances. Time has enlightened and humbled me."

Geraldo Rivera's a family man

While one may think that most of Geraldo Rivera's life is spent on television or attending special events, he's actually a dedicated family guy. According to The U.S. Sun, he's the proud father of five kids from three relationships over the years, the youngest being daughter Solita Liliana Rivera, whom he welcomed with wife Erica Michelle Levy in 2005. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, a closer look at Rivera's Twitter page reveals that he's a loving dad and husband. In fact, his social media account is sprinkled with images of his grandkids, snaps from the Thanksgiving table, and sweet selfies with his wife. In 2016, for example, Rivera took his big family, including a group of friends, to South Africa for a wildlife safari. They paid a visit to Robben Island, where the late Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 years, and took a train from Pretoria to Cape Town — an item on Rivera's bucket list. He said the journey was "almost 1000 miles thru the heart of South Africa."

"I worry about my far-flung flock daily," Rivera wrote in an op-ed piece in honor of Father's Day in 2020 for Fox Business. "There is an old saying that 'you are only as happy as your unhappiest child' and every evening I run down the list of offspring and assess how each is doing." He added, "With four grandchildren and another on the way next month, my list keeps growing."

This reporter was a Celebrity Apprentice runner-up

Geraldo Rivera put his business cap on and nearly stole the show on his longtime pal Donald Trump's series "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2015 (more on their complicated friendship below). After weeks of grueling tasks and outrageous demands, he placed second on the reality business competition, bested by fellow talk show host Leeza Gibbons. Rivera earned an impressive $725,000 for his charity, Life's WORC, an organization that helps those dealing with disabilities and autism.

"It was a nail-biter right to the end," he said on "The Wendy Williams Show" following his elimination. "I don't think anyone except Donald Trump knew how it was going to turn out." Rivera also dished on the "jerk" side of his personality, saying, "I saw it as someone who had to be aggressive and energetic and competitive ... because I had a big bullseye on my back. ... When you fight that way it's not always attractive."

He has a strained friendship with Donald Trump

Geraldo Rivera and Donald Trump have been friends for decades, but that doesn't mean their friendship hasn't seen its fair share of ups and downs — particularly in more recent years.

Long before Trump officially landed the Republican nomination for President of the United States and made it to the White House, Rivera blasted him for his remarks on immigration. In an editorial for Fox News, Rivera said Trump doesn't have a "racist bone" in his body, but questioned his views. Noting that he wouldn't vote for the controversial leader, he urged Trump to re-think his position about building walls and deporting immigrants, saying, "They make America stronger, not weaker." Their friendship took another hit after Rivera suggested he owned tapes of Trump making lewd comments. Rivera later apologized, tweeting, "I apologize to @RealDonaldTrump for piling on & adding fuel to #TrumpTapes scandal. You always treated me and mine w respect & friendship."

Despite maintaining that Trump was "a loyal friend" throughout his one-term presidency, things really came to a head following the Capitol insurrection in January 2021, which led to Rivera calling for his old pal's impeachment in several posts on Twitter. "He lost the election," Rivera tweeted in part. "It made him crazy or revealed a dysfunction I had refused to see. He then unleashed a mob to make war on their own government. 5 to their doom." 

Geraldo Rivera claims he was in a street gang

Throughout his career, Geraldo Rivera has fostered a reputation for chasing a story like a member of the Jets or the Sharks about to take a bat to his opponent. This brings us to a 1989 interview with the Los Angeles Times where he alluded to the gangs he was in when he was younger. "The Corner Boys and, after I got my driver's license, the Valve Grinders ... our graphic was a valve with wings on it," he told the outlet. In his book "Exposing Myself," Rivera reflected on this period of his life, describing the Corner Boys as "mild-mannered." He recalled, "We had one rumble, and it had to do with a football defeat, or an insulted girlfriend." 

It's difficult to verify such a claim, since street gangs aren't exactly notorious for documenting membership rosters, but it's been a theme that Rivera often uses as a reference point in much of his work. Easy allusions to that reference include his infamous live coverage of opening gang leader Al Capone's empty safe, as well the live altercation with skinheads on his own controversial show. Over the years, however, the novelty has since worn off, as Rivera's definitely a law-and-order guy, as evidenced in one commentary on a crime spree in San Francisco and gun violence in Chicago. 

"The difference ... between chaos and civilization is rules," Rivera said on Fox News. "When you break the rules and there are no consequences, then you descend into chaos." 

He was lampooned by Cheech and Chong

The Cheetos-and-cannabis set has been laughing at the media exploits of Geraldo Rivera for years, going as far back as the time when he contributed pieces for ABC's "Good Morning America." Credit that jocularity to comedic stoner duo Cheech and Chong, who, on their 1974 "Wedding Album" release, satirized the celebrity as a slobbering, impressionable reporter named Horrendo Revolver doing a segment for "Wake Up America."

Rivera likely has been unfazed over such a dig, having been buds with Cheech and Chong for decades. While roasting the tandem tokers on a 2008 TBS special, he declared, "I have gotten high with Cheech and Chong in every country in the Western world." Richard "Cheech" Marin later said of Rivera, "One of my best friends, over 35 years has had my back." He went on to offer some career advice: "If it doesn't work out at Fox, he can always go back to his original profession: gay porn." Well, okay.

Rivera's association with Marin in particular also extended into business, as the two formed Maravilla Communications with three other partners in 1989. It planned to buy more than 40 TV stations in the U.S. by taking advantage of a minority-owner tax break provided by the FCC. "It is an ambitious undertaking," said Rivera to the Chicago Tribune. "It involves tens of millions of dollars, and we`re putting a lot of our personal equity at stake.” Unfortunately, Maravilla was dissolved the following year.

Geraldo Rivera isn't through with Fox News just yet

One of Geraldo Rivera's most stable jobs has been with Fox News, a channel that skews heavily to the right side of the political spectrum. Fans of the more left-leaning celebrity might wonder how, since 2001, he's been able to put up with an environment that spit-shines pedestals for its contingent of Republican cheerleaders like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. As it turns out, Rivera's doing so well there, that he agreed to a multi-year contract in 2021. "I'm delighted that FOX News continues to embrace this old soldier in the vivid twilight of my kinetic career," he said in a statement released by Fox News.

So, expect Rivera to continue locking horns with the news channel's stalwarts. While tackling what Donald Trump would have done about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, for example, Rivera asked "The Five" panelist Jeanine Pirro, "How do you know that Putin wasn't playing Trump?" This question caused his colleague to lose her temper. In 2021, Rivera made Carlson's blood boil over his sensationalist commentary on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. "I'm mad about exaggeration and hype," said Rivera, sending his colleague into outrage overdrive. That same year, he also questioned Hannity's thought process when sending texts to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows during the Capitol riot. "I beg you, Sean, to remember the frame of mind you were in when you sent that text on January 6th." Hannity wasn't impressed.