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Entries in Anita Hill (3)

Friday
Oct222010

Justice Clarence Thomas' Former Lover Speaks Out on Relationship in TV Interview

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A former girlfriend of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has broken her 19-year silence about a "serious" relationship the two had during the 1980s, reigniting the debate over Thomas' sexual behavior first sparked by Anita Hill's famed confirmation hearing testimony in 1991.

Lillian McEwen, a retired prosecutor, law professor and administrative law judge, discussed her intimacy with Thomas in a lengthy television interview Friday with reporter Rebecca Cooper of ABC affiliate WJLA in Washington, D.C.

"He was obsessed with pornography," McEwen told Cooper.  "It was something he talked about quite frequently."

McEwen's comments appear to bolster testimony by Hill, who alleged Thomas sexually harassed her by graphically describing his interest in porn.

Thomas vehemently denounced the allegations as an attack motivated by liberal detractors who had colluded with Hill.  "I categorically denied all of the allegations and denied that I ever attempted to date Anita Hill," said Thomas in his testimony.

Outside the hearings, Thomas' supporters pointed to a steady relationship he had with another woman to disprove the charges.  That woman was McEwen.

Thomas and McEwen first met on Capitol Hill in 1979 and the two quickly became friends, she told Cooper in the interview.  Several years later, after Thomas became separated from his first wife and well before he was elevated to the Supreme Court, their relationship grew intimate.

McEwen, a Democrat who says she disapproves of Thomas' conservative jurisprudence on the bench, has written a memoir which she is currently shopping to publishers.

McEwen told Cooper that she was not inclined to come forward sooner because of a fondness for Thomas and out of recognition that testimony about personal relationships is not customarily allowed at Senate Confirmation Hearings.

"I knew what the hearing process involved… I knew it didn't make any difference what I said," she said.  "I also knew the rules for the hearing… no testimony was allowed except for professional relationships with him."

McEwen also said she felt Hill was not being entirely truthful about her relationship with Thomas.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct212010

Anita Hill Refusing Comment on Call for Apology from Thomas' Wife 

Photo Courtesy - Scott Wintrow/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Back in 1991, Anita Hill had plenty to say about her former boss, Clarence Thomas, who was in the process of being confirmed by the Senate to become only the second African-American to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Today, Hill has no comment about the entire affair, or why Thomas’ wife Virginia called her unexpectedly last weekend to ask for an apology from Hill, who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when they worked at the Department of Education and, later, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In an excerpt of the message obtained by ABC News, Virginia Thomas says on a voicemail message to Hill: “I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did.”

Hill told Senate lawmakers at the confirmation hearings 19 years ago that Clarence Thomas repeatedly made inappropriate sexual comments, often described in graphic detail.

Thomas, who alleged he was a victim of a “high-tech lynching” by political foes, was ultimately confirmed by a 52 to 48 vote and has proven to be one of the most conservative high court justices in history.

A spokesman for Brandeis University, where Hill is a faculty member, says the school stands by Hill’s testimony and her contention that the call from Virginia Thomas was inappropriate.

Robert Reich, who served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, added Wednesday that, “If [Clarence] Thomas doesn’t apologize for this latest foray, his wife should apologize.”  Reich was a classmate of Clarence Thomas at Yale and is an associate of Hill's at Brandeis.  He said that Hill’s integrity is beyond reproach.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct192010

Clarence Thomas' Wife Phones Anita Hill for Apology

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A few days ago, Brandeis University professor Anita Hill received a message on her voicemail at work.

“Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginny Thomas,” said the voice. “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something.  I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.  So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did.  Okay have a good day.”

Hill didn’t think the call was real.

“I initially thought it was a prank,” Hill tells ABC News.  “And if it was, I thought the authorities should know about it.”

She reported the call to campus police.

A reporter from ABC News affiliate KGO learned about this and reached out to Virginia Thomas. Thomas e-mailed the reporter, saying, “I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended.”

Hill tells ABC News, “Even if it wasn’t a prank, it was in no way conciliatory for her to begin with the presumption that I did something wrong in 1991.  I simply testified to the truth of my experience.  For her to say otherwise is not extending an olive branch, it’s accusatory.”

She continues, “I don’t apologize.  I have no intention of apologizing and I stand by my testimony in 1991.”

Hill remembered that when Justice Clarence Thomas’s autobiography was released in 2007, the Thomases agreed to an interview with ABC News:

ABC:  “When you think about Anita Hill…was she a pawn, was she a liar?”

Justice Thomas:  “I really don’t care enough -- let me be honest with you.  I went through that during the hearing.  I thought about it.  I really don’t care.  What I care about is that the responsible people didn’t put an end to this nonsense.”

Virginia Thomas:  “I think there’s a lot of theories, but I hope she one day calls up and apologizes and I look forward to forgiving her…I’m sure she got swept up into something bigger than she may have understood at the beginning of whatever she was doing, but I think she owes us an apology and I look forward to receiving that phone call or that visit one day."

“So this isn’t new territory,” Hill tells ABC News.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio