As former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg climbs in the polls in the 2020 Democratic primary race, past allegations of sexism, racism, and misogyny against the candidate have resurfaced to haunt his campaign. The Washington Post reported Saturday that when Bloomberg turned 48-years-old in 1990, his employees gave him a 32-page booklet containing his most outlandish remarks as a gag-style present.
The most explosive revelation, however, stems from a high-profile 1990s case where a former saleswoman sued Bloomberg and his company alleging she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex. According to the woman, Bloomberg told her to "kill it," referring to her unborn baby, when he learned that she was pregnant.
The Post also interviewed a former Bloomberg employee, David Zielenziger, who said he witnessed the exchange between the business mogul and the woman and describes the candidate's behavior toward the woman as "outrageous."
"I remember she had been telling some of her girlfriends that she was pregnant," Zielenziger said. "And Mike came out and I remember he said, 'Are you going to kill it?' And that stopped everything. And I couldn't believe it."
'It's a f---ing baby!'
According to court documents, the plaintiff, whose name is Sekiko Sakai Garrison, claimed that Bloomberg was upset that several of his female employees were pregnant:
On April 11, 1995 at approximately 11:20 a.m., Bloomberg was having a photograph taken with two female Company salespeople and a group of N.Y.U. Business School students, in the company snack area. When Bloomberg noticed Garrison standing nearby, he asked, "Why didn't they ask you to be in the picture? I guess they saw your face." Continuing his penchant for ridiculing recently married women in his employ, Bloomberg asked plaintiff, "How's married life? You married?" Plaintiff responded that her marriage was great and was going to get better in a few months: that she was pregnant, and the baby was due the following September. He responded to her "Kill it!" Plaintiff asked Bloomberg to repeat himself, and again he said, "Kill it!" and muttered, "Great! Number 16!" suggesting to plaintiff his unhappiness that sixteen women in the Company had maternity-related status. Then he walked away.
Garrison also alleged that Bloomberg berated other expecting mothers.
"What the hell did you do a thing like that for?" he is accused of saying to a pregnant employee.
In her lawsuit, Garrison accused the New York businessman of mistreating another woman struggling to find childcare services. "It's a f------ baby! . . . All you need is some black who doesn't have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building."
Bloomberg has denied the allegations under oath and later entered into a financial settlement with Garrison.
Anti-Asian 'derogatory comments'
In her 1998 lawsuit, Garrison also claimed that she "and other female employees were subjected, on virtually a daily basis, by Bloomberg and his male executives, to repeated and unwelcome sexual comments, repeated and unwelcome sexual overtures, and repeated and unwelcome overt sexual gestures, including, upon information and belief, unauthorized touching and inappropriate acts."
Additionally, the woman described the workplace as having racist undertones, claiming she "was subjected, frequently, to derogatory comments about her Japanese origin."
Campaign spokesman Stu Loeser told the Post that Bloomberg "did not make any of the statements alleged in" the case.