Virginia Thomas said she was “extending an olive branch” when she tried to contact Anita Hill. (Associated Press / Associated Press)
Virginia Thomas said she was “extending an olive branch” when she tried to contact Anita Hill. (Associated Press / Associated Press)

Wife of justice seeks apology from Anita Hill

Thomas’ spouse leaves phone message

WASHINGTON – The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called Anita Hill to ask her to apologize for accusing the justice of sexually harassing her, 19 years after Thomas’ confirmation hearing spawned a national debate about harassment in the workplace.

Virginia Thomas said in a statement Tuesday that she was “extending an olive branch” to Hill, now a Brandeis University professor, in a voicemail message left over the weekend.

In a transcript of the message provided by ABC News, which said it listened to the recording, Thomas identified herself and then said, “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. OK, have a good day,” Thomas said.

When Hill heard the voicemail, she contacted Brandeis’ public safety office, which in turn informed the FBI.

“I certainly thought the call was inappropriate,” Hill, who worked for Clarence Thomas in two federal government jobs, said in a statement released Tuesday night.

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

In her statement, Virginia Thomas said she did not intend to offend Hill.

“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,” Thomas said.


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