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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.

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