The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Tuesday that she had phoned the woman who nearly derailed her husband's 1991 confirmation hearing when she accused him of sexual harassment -- a claim Justice Thomas denied. In a phone call to Anita Hill last weekend, Ginny Thomas says she left a message on Hill's office answering machine asking for an apology for "what you did with my husband."
"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," Ginny Thomas told Reuters Tuesday.
"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."
ABC News has published what it says is a transcript of Thomas' voicemail message to Hill:
"Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginny Thomas. 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."
According to ABC, Hill -- now a professor at Brandeis University -- initially thought the call was some kind of a prank. According to the New York Times, Hill says she kept the message for nearly a week, unsure if it was actually from Ms. Thomas. Unsure, Hill told the Times that she handed it over to Braindeis campus police "with a request to convey" it to the FBI.
"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," Hill told ABC. "I simply testified to the truth of my experience. For her to say otherwise is not extending an olive branch, it's accusatory," she said.
"I don't apologize. I have no intention of apologizing, and I stand by my testimony in 1991," she concluded.
During a 2007 interview, Thomas