“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas.”
Anita Hill got a wakeup call—both literally and figuratively—at 7:31am on a recent Saturday morning. Hill, who testified almost 20 years ago that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, got the surprise phone call from Thomas’ wife.
“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas,” started the message. “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.”
Virginia (Ginni) Thomas was referring to Hill’s 1991 Senate confirmation hearing testimony in which she claimed that her former boss, Clarence Thomas, made inappropriate sexual comments to her at work.
“So give it some thought,” Thomas continued. “And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. Okay, have a good day.”
Hill decided to give Thomas’ private message to media outlets for publication and granted interviews because, she told The Times, the voice mail was “inappropriate.” She said the message was “from somebody I didn’t know, and she is asking for an apology. It was not invited. There was no background for it.”
“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,” Thomas confirmed in a statement. “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 responded by telling ABC News that Thomas’ message “was in no way conciliatory for her to begin with the presumption that I did something wrong in 1991. I simply testified to the truth of my experience. For her to say otherwise is not extending an olive branch, it’s accusatory.”
And, she is sticking firmly to her Senate testimony. “I have no intention of apologizing, and I stand by my testimony in 1991,” said Hill.
A professor at Brandeis University, Hill asked the campus police to give the voicemail to the FBI. She claims to The Times that she alerted federal authorities because the call was “inappropriate.” She said that the message came “on my office phone from somebody I didn’t know, and she is asking for an apology. It was not invited there was no background for it.”
Then asked if the FBI is investigating Hill’s voicemail, Special Agent Greg Comcowich at the FBI Boston field office declined to comment.
Ginni Thomas’ effort at reconciliation with Anita Hill after 19 years was seemingly in vain. And, after Hill deliberately embarrassed Thomas by giving her private phone message to the mainstream media, reconciliation in this lifetime seems unlikely.