Mike Bloomberg, Women, and Sexual Harassment Allegations: An Explainer

    DeMarse has also not commented on the booklet—she has signed a non-disclosure agreement.

    “Kill it”

    Sekiko Sakai Garrison, a Bloomberg employee from 1989 until her firing in 1995, who led the sales of Bloomberg Terminals, sued Bloomberg and his company after being fired, according to documents published by the Washington Post. She claimed in her lawsuit that male Bloomberg employees from the CEO on down “engaged in a pattern and practice of sexual harassment, sexual degradation of women, and discrimination,” that she and other saleswomen were encouraged by Bloomberg and other male employees to wear “sexually provocative” clothing, and that she endured personal comments about her Japanese nationality.

    According to the suit, when Garrison told Bloomberg of her pregnancy in 1995, Bloomberg told her to “kill it!” and that he repeated the comment when she asked him to, sure she had misheard it. Another former Bloomberg staffer, David Zielenziger, told the Washington Post that he heard Bloomberg say “Are you going to kill it?” to Garrison, in response to her pregnancy. “He talked kind of crudely about women all the time,” Zielenziger said. Another Bloomberg employee confirmed to the paper that Garrison reported the interaction to him at the time, though he didn’t overhear it personally.

    In the lawsuit, Garrison claimed that she had heard Bloomberg make a series of similarly inappropriate statements:

    To a female employee after a disappointing business meeting:
    “If [the clients] told you to lay down and strip naked so they could fuck you, would you do that too?”

    To a group of female employees after a male employee announced his engagement:
    “All of you girls line up to give him a blow job as a wedding present.”

    To Garrison, when she wasn’t included in a photo opportunity:
    “Why didn’t they ask you to be in the picture? I guess they saw your face.”

    To a female employee struggling to secure childcare:
    “It’s a fucking baby! All you need is some black who doesn’t even have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building.”

    Bloomberg denied the allegations, and said that he was cleared by a polygraph test, but did not release the test. Bloomberg and Garrison reached a settlement. She has signed a non-disclosure agreement.

    “I’d like to do that piece of meat.”

    Mary Ann Olszewski sued Bloomberg LP in 1996, according to documents published by Business Insider. She claimed in the suit that “Bloomberg, through its male managers and employees from Chief Executive Officer Michael Bloomberg on down, engaged in a pattern and practice of sexual harassment and sexual degradation of women.” In the suit she alleges that she heard Bloomberg make comments including, “I’d like to do that piece of meat,” and that Bloomberg repeatedly tried to look up her skirt. Olszewski’s suit also seems to corroborate Garrison’s allegation, when it cites Bloomberg saying, “Kill it” to Garrison when he learned of her pregnancy. But the most significant subject of the suit is her claims that she was raped by another Bloomberg employee during a trip she made on behalf of the company. (Garrison’s suit also alleges that Olszewski was sexually harassed and raped.)

    According to the Olszewski’s suit, she reported the rape and asked to be re-assigned but was fired shortly after. In a deposition excerpted in the Village Voice, Bloomberg cast doubt on Olszewski’s story, saying, “My personal belief is that we have an allegation without proof.” He said that “satisfactory proof” that Olszewski’s allegation was “genuine” would be “an unimpeachable third-party witness.” When pressed to explain how there could possibly be such a witness, he said “There are times when three people are together.”

    According to the Village Voice, the case was dismissed after Olszewski’s attorney missed a filing deadline.

    “Drugged and raped”

    Margaret Doe is the pseudonym of a woman who sued Bloomberg and Bloomberg LP in 2016, according to documents published by Business Insider. According to the suit, she was “drugged and raped”, and “tormented” by another Bloomberg employee. Doe sued Bloomberg as well as the company which, according to the complaint, had a rampant “drug culture,” and she further accused Bloomberg of encouraging “sexist and sexually charged behavior.” Bloomberg, Bloomberg LP, and the employee have all denied Doe’s allegations, and a judge removed Bloomberg from the suit.

    Bloomberg—a New Yorker, billionaire, businessman—has billed himself in election materials as a Good Guy version of Trump. He even spent campaign ads skewering Trump for calling Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman.” Maybe soon, Trump will run ads featuring Bloomberg’s on the record comments on a random woman’s ass.

    Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on Twitter.

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