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Justice Thomas’s Wife Calls Anita Hill to Request Apology

Virginia Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, listens during his confirmation hearing in 1991. Photographer: David J. Ake/AFP/Getty Images
Virginia Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, listens during his confirmation hearing in 1991. Photographer: David J. Ake/AFP/Getty Images

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, said she recently called Anita Hill, whose sexual harassment allegations almost derailed his 1991 U.S. Supreme Court nomination.

ABC News reported that Thomas left a voice mail earlier this month seeking an apology from Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

In a statement released yesterday by Brandeis, Hill called the message “inappropriate.”

“I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony,” she said.

Hill told ABC that at first she thought the call was a hoax. She contacted campus police, who turned the information over to the FBI, said Charles Radin, a university spokesman.

Virginia Thomas said in a written statement that she called Hill at her office “extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed (sic) what happened so long ago.”

Hill’s allegations against Clarence Thomas dominated his confirmation hearings. She accused Thomas of making lewd overtures while she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Senate confirmed Thomas by a 52-48 vote.

In the voice-mail message, Virginia Thomas suggested that Hill should pray about the situation, ABC reported.

‘Consider an Apology’

“I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband,” Thomas said, according to ABC. “So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK. Have a good day.”

Thomas said in her statement that her offer to reconcile with Hill “still stands.”

“I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same,” said Thomas, the founder of Liberty Central, a nonprofit group with links to the Tea Party movement.

Clarence Thomas was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit when President George H.W. Bush selected him for the high court.

In her Senate testimony, Hill said Thomas had discussed pornographic films and talked about sex.

Thomas has repeatedly denied Hill’s allegations. He told senators that the hearing had become a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.” In his 2007 memoir, Thomas wrote that Hill was a “mediocre” employee who lied under oath.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

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