Pete Davidson Wishes He Could Have Stopped the Ariana Grande Groping

The late, great Aretha Franklin’s memorial was on Saturday, and Ariana Grande was one of the honored guests. She performed a powerful tribute to the late Queen of Soul.

Unfortunately, Ariana was fondled on stage by Pastor Charles Ellis III, in front of the mourners and in front of millions of viewers at home.

Now, an inside source shares how Pete Davidson reacted to seeing his fiancee get groped in front of the world.

HollywoodLife reports that Pete Davidson feels that it’s a shame that Aretha’s memorial could not be the solemn, respectful occasion that the late singer deserved.

“What should have been a tribute to the life of Aretha Franklin has become a whole different thing,” the insider says that Pete laments.

“It’s now an unneeded and unwanted spectacle with what the Pastor did to her,” the source continues, referring to the groping of Ariana Grande.

“And,” the insider adds, it gets worse “with people joking about what Bill Clinton’s reactions were during her performance.”

The former President was seen responding with joy to Ariana’s performance, but, given his reputation, too many joked that he was simply lusting after the 25-year-old singer.

“Pete doesn’t really care about the reactions of Bill Clinton,” the source shares.

The insider explains: “he can joke that off.”

Merely looking at a fully dressed woman at a funeral, after all, is not that big of a deal, even if it does become a minor meme.

“But,” the source says. “He definitely is mad over seeing the pastor making her feel very uncomfortable.”

So were millions, of course, but for Pete, it was a situation of seeing the love of his life have to grin and bear it on national television.

Like anyone, Pete wanted to race to Ariana’s rescue.

“Pete wanted to go up on stage and save her,” the insider reveals.

That is no real surprise. But it’s for the best that it did not happen.

“But,” the source explains. “Things happened so fast and he didn’t want to make it more of a scene then it was.”

Creepy men using their position of religious authority to touch people without their consent is gross, but Ariana could not have wanted Pete to make a scene.

After all, this was a time “when everyone was there for Aretha.”

For Pete, this was a no-win scenario. He could either rescue his fiancee and stir up drama and conflict at a solemn occasion, or he could sit back and watch a very uncomfortable scene.

“He was really stuck between a rock and a hard place,” the insider summarizes.

Pete doesn’t want to dwell, the source claims, “and he hopes everyone can move on from everything that happened and stick with what they day was about”

The insider says that Pete hopes that people will focus on Aretha’s passing “instead of everything else that came from it.”

There were other issues with the funeral that had nothing to do with Ariana Grande.

Aretha Franklin had an unimaginably difficult childhood, becoming a mother before she was a teenager and was reportedly a victim of both domestic violence and incest.

Her father, a man whom many believe to have been a real villain in Aretha’s life, was praised during her memorial.

At the same time, single mothers were condemned — which many perceived to be a clear slap in the face to Aretha’s legacy.

Aretha’s memorial should have been about the late legend. We look forward to hearing about how her family really feels about this — once they finish putting together their thoughts.


Geraldo Rivera Defends Matt Lauer, Gets Accused of Groping Bette Midler

Yesterday, NBC announced to the world that Matt Lauer had been fired for sexual misconduct. As the day went on, we learned details of Lauer's alleged sex toy "gifts," pants-dropping, and luring young NBC employees to his room on work trips.

Geraldo Rivera took to Twitter to leap to Lauer's defense, calling the news a "flirty business" and questioning if the accusers were just vengeful.

He apologized … but not before video (below) resurfaced of Bette Midler describing Rivera drugging and groping her during the '70s.

Matt lauer geraldo rivera bette midler splitGeraldo rivera hair out of place

Matt Lauer has been a big name in television news for decades. He projected the image of being a fun and slightly awkward dad, which most people find disarming and even endearing.

Unfortunately, public image so often does not reflect who someone really is.

We heard stories about workplace harassment. Accusations that Lauer gave one female colleague the unsolicited "gift" of a sex toy, along with a note describing how he'd like to use it on her.

Allegations that he dropped his pants while alone with a woman, and later chastised her for being repulsed instead of performing a sex act with him.

We heard about his creepy desk button that remotely locks his door. If a stern "knock first" isn't enough to keep your office as private as you'd like, you are doing things that are not work-related.

There were also stories of a pattern of harassing behavior, particularly on trips for NBC. Allegations that he would find ambitious young women who work for NBC and either invite or lure them to his hotel room.

And Matt Lauer has now been accused of rape. Every part of this is serious.

Geraldo Rivera, who surprises no one by defending creepiness, tweeted out his support for Lauer:

"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?"

The "news is a flirty business" line raised a lot of people's hackles.

And he refers to Garrison Keillor being fired for sexual misconduct. Interesting that Rivera seems willing to defend Keillor when Keillor himself isn't arguing with his termination.

Geraldo rivera in sunglasses

In light of further details about Lauer that have come out, Geraldo's tweet has not aged well.

And neither have the tweets that followed:

"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 w bad bosses or hated ex's."

We're sure that a lot of men would love for sexual harassment to have a narrow definition. Similarly, thieves would love for stealing to stop being a crime on Tuesdays. That's not how this works.

And, as you saw, he seems to be implying that Lauer's accusers are just being vengeful.

"Heard well-regarded women in media today suggesting morning shows go to an all-female format. That should be as unacceptably retro as the other way around."

One, there have been countless all-male panels and all-male morning shows and all-male Supreme Courts and all-male Congresses. So no, suggesting that an all-woman one might be good is not sexist.

You'd need centuries or millennia of female supremacy for the books to even be balanced. That's not what anyone wants — they just want a safe working environment.

Geraldo gets even worse, and alleges that, basically, women should come forward immediately (and face retaliation, lawsuits, and ruined careers) or … just keep quiet, apparently.

"#SexHarassment allegations should require: 1-made in a timely fashion-say w/n 5 yrs. 2-some contemporaneous corroboration, like witnesses, electronic or written communications. W $ settlements in multi-millions slight chance exists some victims are motivated by more than justice."

The classic "financial gain" argument.

"This issue is so red hot right now there is no room for any thought or opinion but hang em high. If News wasn’t (formerly) a flirty biz then how do we explain so many newsroom courtships that have led to happy marriages?"

Ignoring for a moment how dumb that is, Matt Lauer was already married. How wives is one television host supposed to have?

Geraldo rivera picture

As you can imagine,t hat didn't go over well.

Geraldo actually listened to the responses to his tweets, which was reflected in his apology:

"Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment makes clear 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."

And that's honestly a good apology.

(It's honestly better than Matt Lauer's apology, which was intensely bland)

However, Geraldo's apology came after an old video of Bette Midler being interviewed by Barbara Walters made the rounds on Twitter.

In it, Bette describes being drugged and groped by Geraldo Rivera during the 1970s.

Geraldo rivera image

Keep in mind that, way back in 1991, people talked about sexual assault very differently, unfortunately. And that even extended to the victims.

Bette describes:

"Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the ‘70s, in the early ‘70s. This was when he was very hot. He and his producer left the crew in the other room, they pushed me into my bathroom, they pushed two poppers under my nose, and proceeded to grope me."

Though Bette doesn't quite sound like she's speaking of this as being as serious as it sounds, she does make it clear that this was not consensual:

"I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was unseemly."

That is a massive understatement.

Neither Bette nor Geraldo have tweeted about this video yet, but here it is. It's tough to watch:

Geraldo rivera defends matt lauer gets accused of drugging and g

Al Franken Apologizes for Groping, Kissing Woman Without Her Consent

In the aftermath of the Weinstein rape accusations and further accusations about numerous powerful men coming to light, not a lot of revelations have really shocked us.

But today, a radio newscaster named Leeann Tweeden publicly accused Al Franken of having groped her and kissed her without her consent in 2006.

Al Franken has issued an apology, but that doesn’t in any way negate his past actions.

Describing her upsetting experiences with Al Franken, Leeann Tweeden writes:

“In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.”

Tweeden shares that she was going to be in a skit that Franken had written, and he kept pressuring her to “practice” the scene’s kiss.

(Before getting into politics, Franken was on SNL. So a skit makes sense. A kiss, though, should not be necessary. Rehearsals less so)

“He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me.”

There are sadly a lot of harassment stories that we’ve heard, especially lately, involving women giving in not out of a desire to consent, but because they’ve been worn down or fear the consequences of saying no.

“We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”

That is gross and unacceptable. You do not kiss people without consent. Kisses should be fun for both parties or they should not happen at all.

“I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.”

That is a more than fair response.

“I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.”

A horrifying feeling.

“I felt disgusted and violated.”

And remember that she still had to go on stage with him.

“Not long after, I performed the skit as written, carefully turning my head so he couldn’t kiss me on the lips.”

After that, she avoided interacting with him. But eventually, his harassment continued … while she slept:

“The tour wrapped and on Christmas Eve we began the 36-hour trip home to L.A. After 2 weeks of grueling travel and performing I was exhausted. When our C-17 cargo plane took off from Afghanistan I immediately fell asleep, even though I was still wearing my flak vest and Kevlar helmet.”

She did not learn that he had posed with his hands over her breasts until looking through the CD of photos that the photographer had given her, back at home.

She felt violated all over, and you can see why:

Kevlar or no, there is no excuse for that.

Senator Al Franken has publicly apologized:

“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women.”

Starting with an apology is absolutely appropriate. This is a clear apology, unlike Louis C.K.’s open admission. There’s a difference, and it matters.

Al Franken continues:

“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t.”

We feel the same way.

“And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

Shame is very appropriate.

Mitch McConnell has called for an ethics investigation into Al Franken, and Al Franken has agreed.

Leeann Tweeden has publicly accepted Al Franken’s apology, and says that she is not calling for an ethics investigation into him.

(We’re not sure what there is to investigate, as Al Franken’s apology sounds like an admission, but even Franken isn’t opposing it)

Many people on both sides of the political aisle feel that it would be appropriate for Al Franken to resign.

Overall, Democratics haven’t shown any signs of chill in condemning Al Franken’s shameful, inexcusable actions.

The controversy surrounding Alabama candidate Roy Moore’s alleged penchant for underage girls, one that got him banned from a local mall in his thirties, comes to mind.

We all need to remember that, though some political parties may respond different to different accusations, sexual harassment and sexual predation don’t know political boundaries.


Dustin Hoffman: Accused of Groping an Underage Girl!

A few years ago, if you saw a name of a beloved celebrity trending, you clicked because you worried that they might be dead.

These days, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal, you see their name pop up, and you worry that they might have committed sexual assault. Just today, it came out that director Brett Ratner was accused of sexual assault by multiple actresses.

Well, Dustin Hoffman’s name is trending right now … and, well, he’s still alive..

We might think of Dustin Hoffman, these days, as a living legend. He’s a veteran actor and, up until today, was widely respected.

Once upon a time, though, he was a young actor at the top of his game.

Anna Graham Hunter has come forward with her story, accusing Dustin Hoffman of sexually harassing her when she was only 17.

She shared her story in The Hollywood Reporter. Just because this happened in 1985 does not make this okay, folks.

“When I was a senior in high school in New York City, interning as a production assistant on the set of the Death of a Salesman TV film, he asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did.”

Massaging can be entirely non-sexual or pretty explicitly sexual and everything in-between.

Because of that ambiguity, we’d say that if you’re going to ask a 17-year-old for a massage, you should probably be their peer — like, say, a classmate. If not, you should be a trustworthy family member.

Based upon this, there was no ambiguity about how Dustin Hoffman regarded Anna Graham.

“He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me.”

That’s not appropriate around a 17-year-old or in a workplace. And the butt-grabbing might be the worst part of it.

“One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, ‘I’ll have a hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris.'”

Even if he were saying that to a lover, that would be super weird. Speaking to another woman, especially in a work setting and especially a minor, that crosses some serious lines.

So how did the other people respond? And how did Anna Graham?

“His entourage burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried.”

That is heartbreaking.

Reflecting back on it all, she summarizes things pretty honestly.

“I loved the attention from Dustin Hoffman. Until I didn’t.”

Anna Graham brought up letters that she had written to her sister at the time, detailing her life on the set.

“When I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my ass four times. I hit him each time, hard, and told him he was a dirty old man. He took off his hat and pointed to his head (shaved for the part) and said, ‘No, I’m a dirty young man, I have a full head of hair.'”

On February fourth of 1985, her letter details how things got worse … but also better.

“Today this business got scarier. Or at least less appealing. This morning when I asked Dustin what he wanted for breakfast, he said something that beat even his lows. It was worse than anything anyone has ever said to me on the street.”

Well, we know what he said — the “soft-boiled” line. Creepy.

“It was so gross I couldn’t say anything. I just turned around and walked out.”

That’s a very understandable reaction.

“Then later I tried to get into a serious conversation with Frankie about why Dustin is like that. I don’t know how Dustin knew what we were talking about, but he shouted, ‘Anna! Are you badmouthing me? Anna! Get over here, Anna!’ The whole crew was cracking up, and I ducked behind a set.”

There was more fallout. But maybe it was worth it.

“Later, I was delivering lunches when John, Stephen, and Dustin came down the hall and he shouted, ‘Anna! So you think I’m a sexist pig, huh? Anna!’ The whole fucking studio heard him. So I told him that I didn’t appreciate his wandering hands or his comments. He apologized and said he would stop.”

She said that he did in fact stop, and that he started acting towards her the way that he acted when his wife was around. Gentlemanly, for the most part.

On February 20th of 1985, she reached her conclusion about him.

“No one is 100 percent good or bad. Dustin’s a pig, but I like him a lot.”

The actor has responded.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Dustin Hoffman issued a sincere-sounding apology.

“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation.”

It’s not clear if he read her account, but he clearly got the gist of it.

“I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

This is one of those semi-apologies that we so often see in Hollywood.

It could mean that he’s not sorry at all … but it more likely means that he’s genuinely sorry about it, now that he’s 30 years older and wiser, but still doesn’t want to admit explicitly to anything.

Lawsuits are real things, folks.

This is complicated.

The time at which this took place and the act that Anna Graham appreciated his attention — up to a point — doesn’t mean anything.

After all, there’s no statute of limitations on something being bad. Sexual harassment isn’t excusable just because it happened a long time ago.

It’s possible that Dustin Hoffman misread some things (a lot of men take friendliness as genuine flirtation), but again, that’s an explanation and not an excuse.

Like Anna Graham, we find it hard to hate Dustin Hoffman for this — after all, what she describes is much more good-natured than the menacing predatory accounts that we’ve heard from actresses like Selma Blair or in Lupita Nyong’o’s Weinstein story.

Those were stories about calculated predators who lured women under the guise of work and then repeatedly tried to pressure them into unwanted sex.

But let’s be very clear — this story about Dustin Hoffman is the story of an older man sexually harassing a minor. It’s a story about other people ignoring it.

Everything that she describes is part of the same toxic, predatory problem that pervades every #MeToo story that we’ve read..


Ben Affleck Accused of Groping Makeup Artist as Harassment Scandal Worsens

In the wake of reports that Harvey Weinstein sexually abused countless women during his decades at the top of the Hollywood hierarchy, countless high-profile victims have come forward to reveal that they were harassed and forced to keep quiet for fear of being blackballed.

If there’s a silver lining to be found in this massive black cloud of a scandal, it’s the fact that Hollywood’s culture of demeaning and victimizing young women is finally being brought to the public’s attention–and Weinstein isn’t the only abuser who’s now being taken to task.

As you may have heard, Ben Affleck condemned Weinstein and appalling misconduct in a statement issued earlier this week.

Many applauded the actor, who rose to mainstream fame with 1997’s Good Will Hunting, the Weinstein-produced sleeper hit that earned Affleck and co-star Matt Damon a pair of Best Original Screenplay Oscars.

But standing out in the chorus of praise were several voices calling out Affleck for blatant hypocrisy and some ugly misdeeds of his own.

The allegations started with actress and former MTV VJ Hilarie Burton who Affleck groped on the set of TRL back in 2004.

Burton even supplied video of the incident for those who called her account into question.

Shortly thereafter, a second incriminating clip resurfaced, this one apparently showing Affleck harassing a Canadian television host during a 2006 interview.

(The alleged victim in that case, Anne-Marie Losique, has stated that she was “not at all a victim” and that the incident was part of a “game” she and Affleck were playing “for the camera.”)

The allegations against Affleck are not nearly as severe as those against Weinstein, who now stands accused of raping Asia Argento when the actress was just 21 years old.

But the fact remains that new or forgotten evidence of appalling behavior on Affleck’s part keeps making the rounds on social media, and the actor is currently making the situation worse by keeping quiet.

The latest allegation comes from makeup artist Annamarie Tindler, who tweeted yesterday that Affleck sexually assaulted her in 2014.

“I would also love to get an apology from Ben Affleck who grabbed my ass at a Golden Globes party in 2014,” Tindler wrote.

“He walked by me, cupped my butt and pressed his finger into my crack … I guess he tried to play it like he was politely moving me out of the way and oops touched my butt instead of my lower back?” she continued.

Tindler added that while all of Affleck’s alleged victims experienced different forms of harassment, they all have one thing in common:

“Like most women in these situations I didn’t say anything but I have thought a lot about what I’d say if I ever saw him again,” she concluded.

Affleck has apologized for groping Burton, but has yet to address the other accusations that followed.

We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.


Ben Affleck Apologizes for Groping Hilarie Burton, As More Inappropriate Vid Surfaces

Ben Affleck is apologizing for apparently groping former MTV host-turned-actress Hilarie Burton, but he’s also dealing with another, arguably worse video of himself and a female reporter. The incident came to light when former “Total Request…