Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was booed on stage at Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate over his refusal to release former female employees from their non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
Bloomberg has come under fire after an ABC News report late last year revealed that at least 17 women filed lawsuits against Bloomberg’s company. The report stated that several of these women wanted to go public with their complaints, but were bound by NDAs. (RELATED: Meet Catalina Lauf, The ‘Anti-AOC’ Candidate Running To Be The Youngest Person Ever Elected To Congress)
“We have very few non-disclosure agreements,” Bloomberg said. “None of them accused me of doing anything, other than, maybe they didn’t like a joke I told. These would be agreements between two parties that wanted to keep it quiet and that’s up to them. They signed those agreements and will live with it.”
Bloomberg’s comments faced jeers from the audience and attacks from rival candidates Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.
“You’re releasing them on television tonight?” Warren asked.
“They signed the agreements and that’s what we’re gonna live with,” Bloomberg said.
The former vice president also pressed Bloomberg to release these women from their NDAs.
“It’s easy. All the mayor has to do is say ‘you are released from the non-disclosure agreement'” Biden said. “This is about transparency.”
Despite pressure from his rivals, Bloomberg continued to double down on his refusal to end the agreements.
“I’ve said we’re not going to end these agreements, because they were made consensually, and they have every right to expect they will stay private,” the former mayor said.