This weekend, apparently hitting a breaking point after years of agitation, Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, left a voicemail for Brandeis professor Anita Hill, asking Hill to apologize for her 1991 allegations of sexual harassment during Thomas's confirmation hearings. Hill, an attorney who worked with Thomas at the Department of Education in the '80s, notoriously alleged that Thomas had talked endlessly about pornography and had once asked loudly, "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?"
The charges nearly prevented Thomas's confirmation. The right worked overtime to discredit Hill; journalist/hit-man David Brock wrote a book called The Real Anita Hill, famously describing the attorney (pictured above in a 1991 photo) as "a bit nutty and a bit slutty." (After a crisis of conscience in the late '90s, Brock recanted, referring to the book as "character assassination.")
"Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginni 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 some time 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."
("With my husband" is an interesting construction; it almost seems to imply collusion on Clarence Thomas's part.) Hill's response was to turn the voicemail over to Brandeis campus security, who forwarded it to the FBI. She also issued a statement through the university, describing the call as "inappropriate" and confirming that she would not apologize: "I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony." More on this psychodrama is certain to follow.