Nearly 20 years after her husband was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Ginni Thomas left a voicemail for Anita Hill asking her to apologize for accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
On October 9, 2010, Anita Hill, then a lawyer and professor at Brandeis University, received a voicemail on her office line, People reported, from the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
“I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband,” Ginni Thomas said in the voicemail, People reported. “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.”
In 1991, Hill became the center of contentious confirmation hearings for Thomas after an FBI report about her accusations was leaked to the press. She later testified before Congress that Thomas had repeatedly sexually harassed her while she was his subordinate and engaged in inappropriate workplace behavior.
He was ultimately confirmed in a 52-48 vote.
Hill described the call from Thomas’ wife as “certainly inappropriate” in an interview with The New York Times.
“It came in at 7:30 a.m. on my office phone from somebody I didn’t know, and she is asking for an apology,” Hill told The New York Times when the voicemail was first reported. “It was not invited. There was no background for it.”
In a statement sent through her publicist, Thomas acknoweldged she’d called the woman her husband was accused of harassing and said she meant no offense.
“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 past what happened so long ago,” The New York Times reported Thomas said. “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, however, did not accept the apology, saying: “I appreciate that no offense was intended, but she can’t ask for an apology without suggesting that I did something wrong, and that is offensive.”