“I would DO you in a second!”

A classy comment from democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

In the past 10 years, 3 women have filed lawsuits with allegations of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment against Bloomberg at his company, Bloomberg LP, and 14 other women have filed similar complaints against other executives of the same company.

Most recently though, Bloomberg has been criticized for his feelings on the #MeToo movement, which brought to light many cases of sexual harassment and assault and encouraged women to report incidents. 

Women claim they were sexually harassed by Bloomberg, forced to stay silent

 

Bloomberg apparently didn’t agree with former TV news anchor Charlie Rose being fired from PBS after harassment allegations against him surfaced.

When asked his feelings on Rose, Bloomberg said, “The stuff I read about is disgraceful — I don’t know how true all of it is.  We have a system where you have — presumption of innocence is the basis of it.”

To be fair, he’s not wrong.

The #MeToo movement, while I acknowledge that some good did come from it, was taken way too far and ended up doing a lot of damage as well.  False allegations flew around the country like birds flying south for the winter, particularly in California and New York.  You know, where rich people live.

Gold-digging, attention-seeking clowns took away the empowerment of actual victims to stand up for themselves against abusers and harassment.  What started as a positive social movement quickly turned into a joke thanks to the aforementioned clowns.

So Bloomberg, and anyone else questioning allegations, can hardly be blamed for having doubts.

That being said, Bloomberg CAN be blamed for many other things.

For example.  In 1997, a sales representative at Bloomberg LP, Sekiko Sakai, sued Bloomberg for “sexual degradation” after she told him she was pregnant. 

“He told me to ‘kill it’ in a serious monotone voice,” Sekiko said.  “I asked ‘What? What did you just say?’ He looked at me and repeated in a deliberate manner ‘kill it.’”

The woman’s attorney, Bonnie Josephs, said, “The atmosphere was toxic and harassing.”

Bloomberg was adamant that he never said that to Sekiko, but the case was settled out of court.  Bloomberg reportedly passed a lie detector test claiming the incident never occurred.

Interestingly, some of the same women who are appalled at Bloomberg’s comment for suggesting she kill her baby to advance her career are the same people praising actress Michelle Williams for her “bravery” and doing just that. But I’ll leave that alone for now.

Women claim they were sexually harassed by Bloomberg, forced to stay silent

(Flickr)

 

Women have accused Bloomberg of creating a hostile work environment, saying he fostered a “frat-like” culture in the business he founded, owned, and operated.  He’s said to have condoned a “locker room” business environment.  In court documents, Bloomberg has been accused of saying things like, “I’d like to do that piece of meat.”  Really? Who talks like that? 

None of the 17 cases against Bloomberg or his company have made it to trial; 4 were dismissed or withdrawn, 5 were settled out of court, and 3 remain active.

People also weren’t too crazy about a gag gift given to Bloomberg by colleagues in 1990.  The book is allegedly a collection of his own quotes.  One read, “Make the customer think he’s getting laid when he’s getting fucked!”  Another was, “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdales.” 

Bloomberg was known to make crude comments in the 90’s, and apparently told a female employee to keep her boyfriend happy “with a good blow job.” 

Another comment he reportedly made in 1996 was, “I’d love nothing more in life than to have Sharon Stone sit on my face.”

Christine Quinn, who was running to succeed him as mayor, said Bloomberg had a “potty mouth” when she worked with him as City Council Speaker.  She also didn’t like that he told her to wear heels instead of flats, or that he told her she waited too long to dye her hair.

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Women claim they were sexually harassed by Bloomberg, forced to stay silent

 

Quinn said that while she was at a Christmas party at the same time as Bloomberg, he pointed to a woman in a tight dress and said, “Look at the ass on her.”

Bloomberg denied making the comment.

Yes you did, Mike.  You did because you’re a man and when women wear tight clothing, men notice. Which is why they wear tight clothing. This was a Christmas party, not a church service.  You said it and probably more because you’re an old timer pervert and you love women. Own it.

Report: Billionaire Bloomberg hired prison labor to make election calls

 

Now that Bloomberg is running for the democratic presidential candidate, everyone wants to hear from the women involved in the many lawsuits against him and the company.  The alleged victims, of course, have signed voluntary confidentiality agreements and are precluded from talking to the media about the allegations.

“You can’t just walk away from it,” Bloomberg said to this. “They’re legal agreements, and for all I know the other side wouldn’t want to get out of it.”

For at least one woman, that isn’t necessarily true.  Sekiko, mentioned above, said through a lawyer that she “may be” willing to talk about her story if the agreement was struck.

Julie Wood is a Bloomberg campaign spokesperson.  She defended Bloomberg, saying, “Mike Bloomberg has supported and empowered women throughout his career — from appointing women to the very top positions in his mayoral administration to supporting women candidates for higher office to an industry-leading 26-weeks of paid family leave at his company. 

“At the same time, Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong. He believes his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”

That’s probably not true either, as his values and the way he has led his life seem to align quite nicely with his words, but ok, Julie.

Bloomberg has responded to allegations of creating a hostile work environment for women by saying, “There will always be somebody that’s not happy, but we are — we do very well in terms of attracting men and women to come to work in the company, and the retention rate with both of them is good as I think any real company.  So, I’m very proud of what we do.”

He also said earlier this week, “We’re not perfect.  But we have very low attrition and I think we treat our employees — no matter what their gender or age or ethnicity is — as well as any company. We can always do better — but we keep looking for better ways to make our employees get better benefits because that’s the way you attract good people and I can parade out a whole bunch of any group that you want that will tell you it’s a great place to work.”

I’m sure it is.  If you’re a man.  Or at least a woman with thick skin and a dark sense of humor.

The morale of the story?  Old, perverted billionaires, keep your jokes to yourself because no one is allowed to have a sense of humor anymore, and #metoo.

 


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