Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg allegedly told a female employee,”kill it!” when she told him she was pregnant, according to the former Bloomberg executive’s 1997 lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed in New York by Sekiko Sakai Garrison alleges Bloomberg followed up his first remark with another offensive comment, “Great! Number 16,” apparently referring to the number of pregnant employees on his payroll.
Sakai Garrison also claimed Bloomberg pointed out another woman to her and remarked, “If you looked like that, I would do you in a second.”
”Sexual harassment and sexual degredation of women at Bloomberg was pervasive,” the lawsuit states.
Sakai Garrison, who now lives in Seattle, achieved the number one ranking as regional sales manager at Bloomberg’s company, where she worked from 1989 to 1995, when she was let go. She did not respond to a request for comment.
The suit accused Bloomberg of making racist remarks as well, including calling Mexican clients “jumping beans” and telling a female employee who needed a nanny, “all you need is some black who doesn’t even have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building.”
The billionaire businessman settled the lawsuit in 2000. Bloomberg claimed to have passed a lie detector test in 2001 denying he made the remark about Sakai Garrison’s pregnancy. He said he submitted to the polygraph ”because I expected that those allegations would surface in the news media as I began to explore the possibility of entering the mayor’s race.”
Reports of the former New York City mayor’s demeaning comments towards women and others have circulated for years, some documented in a book of one-liners gifted to him by work colleagues.
“Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong,” said Bloomberg’s spokesman, Stu Loeser. “He believes his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”
Bloomberg is currently battling lackluster poll numbers in the Democratic presidential primary after his late 2020 campaign announcement.