Sekiko Sakai Garrison was an employee for current Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg who claims he told her to “kill it” when she became pregnant. She sued the billionaire for his alleged remark in 1995; to this day, Bloomberg maintains he didn’t say this. The lawsuit was eventually settled outside of court.
The comments resurfaced on February 25, 2020, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren referenced them during the Democratic Presidential Debate. You can watch the scorching back and forth in the video below:
The Washington Post published a copy of Garrison’s lawsuit against Bloomberg.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Garrison Was a Salesperson for Bloomberg When the Alleged Comments Transpired; She Was Fired Months After
According to Garrison’s lawsuit, she worked for Bloomberg from 1989 to 1995 as a salesperson. She claimed she was “improperly and illegally terminated” because of her pregnancy. Specifically, she claimed that when Bloomberg became aware of her pregnancy, he told her to “kill it.”
Garrison said she asked him to repeat himself, and he said, “Kill it!” Then she said, “Great! Number 16!” The lawsuit reported Garrison was implying that Bloomberg was unhappy with the current 16 women who had maternity status.
The lawsuit further claimed that Bloomberg created an atmosphere of “sexual harassment and sexual degradation,” and that he and other male executives encouraged women to wear “sexually provocative clothing.”
A former employee for Bloomberg, David Zielenziger, eventually corroborated Garrison’s memory of Bloomberg telling her to “kill it.” He told The Washington Post, “I remember she had been telling some of her girlfriends that she was pregnant. And Mike came out and I remember he said, ‘Are you going to kill it?’ And that stopped everything. And I couldn’t believe it.”
Zielenziger added, “He talked kind of crudely about women all the time.”
2. Garrison’s Lawsuit Claimed Bloomberg Made Comments About Women Like ‘That’s a Great Piece of A**’
In addition to claiming Bloomberg told her to “kill it” in regard to her pregnancy, Garrison’s lawsuit further alleged that he had a history of making suggestive comments about women in the workplace.
The lawsuit attributed these comments to Bloomberg:
- “That’s a great piece of a**”
- “I’d f*ck that in a second”
- “I’d like to do that”
3. Garrison Was Most Recently a Director of Marketing & Business Development in Seattle
According to LinkedIn, Garrison worked most recently as director of marketing and business development at PolyPaths, LLC. Prior to that, she worked for 12 years as director of business development and sales at Andrew Davidson & Co.
Garrison’s LinkedIn reveals more about her time at Bloomberg LP. It says she worked as a regional sales manager for Bloomberg, focusing on FinTech. Her bio for that job reads, in part:
Consistent top revenue producer (achieved #1 ranking in organization) for this global leader in financial services and technology; developed and managed over 240 accounts with top Wall Street firms and additional institutions throughout the US, Canada, Japan, and Latin America
4. Garrison’s Lawsuit Included an Apparent Voicemail From Bloomberg in Which He Denied Saying ‘Kill It’
As uploaded by The Washington Post, Garrison’s lawsuit included a transcription of an apparent voicemail by Bloomberg to Garrison in which he denied ever saying that she should “kill” her unborn child.
As transcribed in Garrison’s lawsuit, the voicemail reads in part:
I certainly never said anything … I never meant anything … I don’t know what you are talking about to be honest with you … I couldn’t be happier that you are pregnant … I mean I am just speechless because I don’t know what the problem was and [an employee] told me you were all upset … whatever you heard wasn’t what I said and whatever I said had nothing to do with pregnancies because I didn’t [know she was pregnant] …
Anyway, I am sorry if you are upset … I couldn’t be happier that you are having a child … I have two … you should have more than one … Anyway, all the best … I apologize if there was something you heard but I didn’t say it, didn’t mean it, didn’t say it … anyways when you get time give me a call.
5. The Washington Post Reported Bloomberg Was Gifted With a ‘Wit & Wisdom’ Booklet Containing Quotes He’s Allegedly Said About Women
According to The Washington Post, Bloomberg was gifted with a “Wit & Wisdom” booklet in 1990, while Garrison was working at Bloomberg (she wasn’t involved in the creation of the booklet).
The person who assembled the booklet was Elisabeth DeMarse, the publication reported. DeMarse was the chief marketing officer for Bloomberg LP at the time. She wrote in the booklet’s introduction, “Yes, these are all actual quotes. No, nothing has been embellished or exaggerated. And yes, some things were too outrageous to include.”
One such quote in the booklet attributed to Bloomberg was, according to The Washington Post, “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s.”
A spokesperson for Bloomberg denied that Bloomberg said any of the things in the booklet, referring to it as a “gag gift.”