US & Canada

Wife of Clarence Thomas asks Anita Hill to apologise

Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing in 1991 (file photo)
Image caption Ms Hill said she had no intention of apologising for her testimony in 1991

The wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has asked Anita Hill to apologise for accusing her husband of sexual harassment 19 years ago.

Virginia Thomas has confirmed that she left a voicemail message for Ms Hill at the weekend.

Ms Hill accused Justice Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings in 1991.

Justice Thomas denied the allegations and was confirmed. Ms Hill has said she does not intend to apologise.

Ms Thomas said in a statement on Tuesday that she had left a message on Ms Hill's office answering machine with the intention of "extending an olive branch".

"I would love you to consider an apology some time and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband," Ms Thomas reportedly said.

"So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did," ABC News quoted Ms Thomas' answerphone message as saying.

Ms Hill, a professor at Brandeis University near Boston, reported the recording to the campus public safety office.

"I have no intention of apologising, and I stand by my testimony in 1991," she told ABC News.

Ms Thomas, a conservative activist, said in a statement that she would be very happy to meet Ms Hill "and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same".

During Justice Thomas' confirmation hearing Anita Hill claimed that Justice Thomas had harassed her with graphic sexual remarks and pornographic films while they worked together at the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.