Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Monday said Michael Bloomberg (D) “has to answer” for the resurfaced allegations of sexist and discriminatory behavior toward women and added that his accusers should be released from their non-disclosure agreements.
Bloomberg came under fire this week after allegations stemming from past lawsuits resurfaced, highlighting his alleged sexist behavior toward women in the workplace. Warren said the women, who are bound by non-disclosure agreements, should be released from the agreements and “able to speak.”
“I think [nondisclosure agreements] are a way for people to hide bad things they’ve done. And I think that women should be able to speak,” Warren told reporters in Fort Madison, Iowa, according to ABC News. “They need to be released from [nondisclosure agreements].”
“When women raise concerns like this, we have to pay attention. We have to listen to them, and if Michael Bloomberg has made comments like this, then he has to answer for them,” she added.
One of the allegations that resurfaced stemmed from a 1990s lawsuit filed by a sales manager, Sekiko Sakai. She claimed that Bloomberg reacted to her pregnancy announcement by telling her to “kill it” — an accusation he has denied.
“He told me to ‘kill it’ in a serious monotone voice,” Sakai alleged. “I asked ‘What? What did you just say?’ He looked at me and repeated in a deliberate manner ‘kill it.’”
“Great, No. 16′,” Bloomberg allegedly added, a reference to the number of women pregnant within his company.
Bonnie Josephs, a New York attorney who represented Sakai, said her then-client “said she felt very distressed” and added that the remark was emblematic of a “locker room atmosphere that was a sexually harassing atmosphere,” ABC News reported.
As Breitbart News reported, the allegation is just one of many against the former New York City mayor. Women have claimed that he has displayed a pattern of derogatory and sexist behavior toward them. Some of Bloomberg’s alleged remarks were memorialized in a decades-old “wit and wisdom” booklet put together by his friends.
As ABC News reported:
When Mike Bloomberg’s friends and admiring colleagues compiled a small booklet of his “wit and wisdom” nearly 30 years ago, they opened it with this one-liner: “Make the customer think he’s getting laid when he’s getting [expletive].”
From there, the crude language continued: “What do I want?” it says on page six. “I want an exclusive, 10-year contract, an automatic extension, and I want you to pay me. And I want [oral sex] from Jane Fonda. Have you seen Jane Fonda? Not bad for fifty.”
And sexist: “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdales.” And, “I know for a fact that any self-respecting woman who walks past a construction site doesn’t get a whistle will turn around and walk past again and again until she does get one.”
While Bloomberg has denied some of the allegations, a spokeswoman for his campaign told ABC News that he “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,” she added, maintaining that the billionaire has “supported and empowered women throughout his career.”
The Bloomberg campaign declined to tell ABC News if Bloomberg “has considered releasing these women from their nondisclosure agreements.”