NEW YORK — As Mike Bloomberg celebrated his 48th birthday in 1990, a top aide at the company he founded presented him with a booklet of profane, sexist quotes she attributed to him.
A good salesperson is like a man who tries to pick up women at a bar by saying, “Do you want to f—? He gets turned down a lot — but he gets f—– a lot, too!” Bloomberg was quoted in the booklet as saying. Bloomberg also allegedly said that his company’s financial information computers “will do everything, including give you [oral sex]. I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business.”
The most high-profile case was from a former saleswoman. She sued Bloomberg personally as well as his company, alleging workplace discrimination. She alleged Bloomberg told her to “kill it” when he learned she was pregnant. Bloomberg has denied her allegation under oath, and he reached a confidential settlement with the saleswoman.
Now, as Bloomberg is increasingly viewed as a viable Democratic candidate for president and the #MeToo era has raised the profile of workplace harassment, he is finding that his efforts to prevent disclosure are clashing against demands that he release former employees and complainants from their nondisclosure agreements.
The allegations that he tolerated a hostile office culture could undercut his ability to criticize President Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct and efforts to keep such claims private.