Geraldo Rivera Says He Was Fired From "The Five" Over "Toxic Relationship" With Co-Host
The longtime Fox News contributor opened up about the behind-the-scenes feud on The View.
Three weeks after Geraldo Rivera announced that he was leaving Fox News' The Five, the political commentator revealed more details about what led to the decision. During an appearance on The View on Thursday, July 13, Rivera claimed that he was fired from The Five because of a "toxic relationship" he had with one of his co-hosts. The 80-year-old broadcaster also said that Fox News offered to let him stay at the network and finish out his contract, but that he decided to quit altogether instead.
Rivera didn't say on The View which The Five co-host he had feuded with, but some questioning from the View panel narrowed the field down to two people. Read on to find out more.
Rivera felt that a co-host was "favored" during their disagreements.
"I was fired from The Five, the kind of antithesis of this program, the flip side, the bitter enemy," Rivera said on The View. "I had a very toxic relationship with another of the cast members."
When Sara Haines asked if "things getting personal" with the unnamed co-host was the reason he was fired, Rivera responded, "Sure, sure. And also I thought it was very unfair that I was not judged objectively in our disputes, but rather he was always favored. And I was the one, I was suspended three times. I had two, three appearances scheduled weekly, then bi-weekly, then monthly, then they kind of disappeared. They were canceled in the last day right before I was supposed to go on. I was really ticked off."
Rivera had been considered one of the liberal rotating co-hosts on the show and appeared alongside four full-time co-hosts Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Jeanine Pirro, and Jesse Watters.
The View hosts pressed him for the identity of his nemesis.
When Rivera began referring to the co-host with whom he had a "toxic relationship" as "he," the View hosts pointed out that this meant it had to be one of the men on The Five—either Gutfeld or Watters.
"So, it's a guy?" Joy Behar said. "It's not Jeanine." Rivera responded, "I love Jeanine. I discovered Jeanine … I put her on TV." As reported by TVLine, Rivera featured Pirro on his talkshow, Geraldo, in the '90s to comment on the O.J. Simpson trial.
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Rivera had a contentious on-air relationship with Gutfeld.
When the Associated Press reported on Rivera leaving The Five in June, the article noted that there had been obvious tension between Rivera and Gutfeld on the show and on social media. The AP noted that Rivera called Gutfeld "an arrogant punk" during a discussion on The Five about abortion and that things got heated during a conversation about electric vehicles. Gutfeld sarcastically tweeted about Rivera, "You're a class act Geraldo, a real man of the people," when Rivera criticized statements former Fox News host Tucker Carlson made about the Jan. 6 attack.
The AP further reported that Rivera wouldn't comment on Gutfeld directly, but that he said, "There has been a growing tension that goes beyond editorial differences and personal annoyances and gripes. It's not worth it to me."
He decided to quit Fox News entirely.
On June 29, about a week after announcing that he was leaving The Five, Rivera tweeted, "I got fired from @TheFive so I quit Fox." On The View, he explained more about what led to his decision.
"I got a call from two of the female executives, and they said, 'You're off The Five. But there are plenty of other things you can do,'" he said. "I had a year and a half left on my contract." He said that he figured, "If you fired me from the number one show, then I'm going to quit. And that's basically what happened."
Sunny Hostin asked if Fox News could have built another show for him. "They could have, I guess. But my ideology does not fit Fox, so they always kind of squeezed me in," Rivera said. He added that the people at Fox News were courteous to him in the days leading up to his departure, as evidenced by an on-air celebration of his 20-plus years contributing to the network.
In a previous statement to Best Life, a spokesperson for Fox News said the network had "reached an amicable conclusion with Geraldo over the past few weeks."
"Everything came to everything. Now, I'm not mad at anybody. Now, I'm a free person," Rivera said on The View. "I have no idea what I'm going to do next. I'm 80 years old."