Virginia "Ginni" Thomas -- the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas -- now says that it was a lapse in judgment that led her to solicit an apology from Anita Hill, the woman whose testimony nearly derailed her husband's Senate confirmation nearly 20 years ago.
In an interview with the Daily Caller's Alex Pappas, Ginni Thomas declined to explain the reasoning behind her decision to leave a voice mail on Hill's office phone at Brandeis University in October with the bizarre request. She termed the subject of the call "a private matter" -- but she also acknowledged that "it was probably a mistake on my part."
Thomas's call shocked the Washington political establishment and left many observers scratching their heads over why she would want to lift the scab on an old family wound. Hill, for her part, said at the time that she'd initially assumed it was a prank.
"Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas," she said in the call. "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."
If the idea was to bring some sort of closure on the matter for both herself and Hill, that clearly didn't work. News of the call roused the long-dormant media debate over Clarence Thomas's character. And in partial response to the news of Ginni Thomas's call, Lillian McEwen, a longtime ex-girlfriend of Clarence Thomas, came forward and corroborated some of the accusations made by Hill way back when -- even though McEwen declined a request to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thomas's confirmation at the time.
"He was obsessed with porn," McEwen told the Washington Post. "He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting."
Ginni Thomas also recently resigned her post as the head of the tea-party-affiliated activist group Liberty Central, leading some to speculate that fallout from the controversial call had prompted her departure. In her Daily Caller interview, Ginni Thomas dismisses this notion as "laughable," saying that she quit her leadership post mainly to clear up time for other pursuits -- such as consulting on a partnership between Liberty Central and the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty. She still remains an active member of Liberty Central, she stressed.
(Photo of Clarence and Virginia Thomas: AP/Charles Dharapak)