NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn't amused by journalists' efforts to get to the bottom of a report that he made a crass remark about a woman's posterior at a holiday party.
The New York City mayor tersely said Thursday he never made the comment described in a New York magazine article last week. The writer, Jonathan Van Meter, said he was introduced to Bloomberg at a recent party, and the mayor abruptly blurted out a vulgarity about a nearby woman's backside.
The magazine said it stands by Van Meter's reporting and wouldn't comment further.
Asked about the reported comment after an unrelated news conference Thursday, Bloomberg said he "never said it."
"I don't know where it came from. Next question," he said — and then got irritated when the next question was whether the alleged aside might be seen as part of a pattern of sexist remarks he's made.
"You can write anything you want. Don't be ridiculous. That's an outrage, for you to say that," he retorted.
The 70-year-old billionaire's outlook on women came under scrutiny before he was mayor, when a female sales executive at the financial information services company he founded filed a sexual harassment lawsuit.
It accused him and other male managers at Bloomberg L.P. of making repeated, unwelcome sexual comments and fostering a locker-room culture. The suit also claimed the founder and company displayed discriminatory attitudes toward pregnant women and new mothers.
Bloomberg, who has two daughters, adamantly denied the allegations. The suit was settled in 2000.
He has been known to use some salty language about other matters during his 11 years in office, including during a chuckled comment on what he evidently considered an overload of puns in his prepared remarks for an event before this summer's Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest.