Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg said Friday that hes willing to release at least three women from non-disclosure agreements that prevented them from speaking publicly about sexual harassment or discrimination suits filed against him over the last three decades.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against his company over the years. Bloomberg said his company has identified three NDAs that we signed over the past 30-plus years with women to address complaints about comments they said I had made.
He wrote: 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 theyll be given a release.
Bloomberg was attacked repeatedly this week in his debut debate for declining to release women from the non-disclosure agreements.
He wrote: Ive done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and Ive decided that for as long as Im running the company, we wont offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward.
In his statement, Bloomberg acknowledged that such gagging contracts can be harmful to workplace culture.
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, Bloomberg said.
The move was in marked contrast to what Bloomberg had said on Wednesdays debate stage when the NDAs were raised as an issue and where he said: They signed those agreements, and well live with it.
The Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren was the first of Bloombergs opponents to raise the issue of the NDAs during the debate, but other candidates also quickly piled on, catapulting the issue into the headlines.
Some critics also noted that Bloombergs move related only to those complaints that addressed him personally, not any that might have involved allegations against his company more broadly, or people who worked for him.