Posted Oct 20, 2010 11:30 am CDT
The wife of Justice Clarence Thomas has confirmed that she left a voice mail for the woman who accused her husband of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearing in 1991.
ABC News was first to reveal the message left on Saturday, Oct. 9, by Virginia Thomas for Anita Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University.
“Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas,” the message 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.”
Virginia Thomas said in a statement that she was “extending an olive branch” in hopes she and Hill could get past what happened so long ago. “Certainly no offense was ever intended,” she said. Her husband has denied the sexual harassment allegations, claiming during his confirmation hearing that they amounted to “a high-tech lynching.”
Hill says she found the message to be accusatory rather than conciliatory. At first she was unsure if it was a prank, and she turned it over to Brandeis University police, according to the New York Times and the Boston Globe. The campus police then turned the matter over to the FBI, the Globe says.
“I have no intention of apologizing and I stand by my testimony,” Hill told the Globe.
Virginia Thomas later abruptly canceled an appearance today on NPR’s and WBUR’s On Point, the Blog of Legal Times reported. WBUR’s Hubbub blog said Virginia Thomas’ publicist cited a “scheduling conflict” for the cancellation of what would have been a 20-minute interview that would have aired nationally.
USA Today contacted Supreme Court information officer Kathy Arberg, who said Justice Thomas was traveling and not available for comment.
Updated at 3:51 p.m. to include news of the radio interview cancellation.