Under intense pressure from Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic rivals, Michael Bloomberg announced Friday that he is willing to release women who’ve accused him of harassment from non-disclosure agreements.
“I’ve had the company go back over its record and they’ve identified 3 NDAs that we signed over the past 30-plus years with women to address complaints about comments they said I had made,” Bloomberg wrote in a statement. “If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release. I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running the company, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward.
“I recognize that NDAs, particularly when they are used in the context of sexual harassment and sexual assault, promote a culture of silence in the workplace and contribute to a culture of women not feeling safe or supported. It is imperative that when problems occur, workplaces not only address the specific incidents, but the culture and practices that led to those incidents. And then leaders must act.”
During Wednesday’s Democratic debate and at a CNN Town Hall on Thursday, Warren slammed Bloomberg over the non-disclosure agreements. At the town hall, she even presented a proposed contract that Bloomberg could sign to allow the women to tell their stories.
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said during the debate. “Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.
“This not just a question of the mayor’s character. This is also a question about electability,” Warren said. “We are not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who has who-knows-how-many nondisclosure agreements and the drip, drip, drip of stories of women saying they have been harassed and discriminated against. That’s not what we do as Democrats.”
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