TODAY   |  October 20, 2010

Justice Thomas’ wife asks Hill to apologize

Nearly 20 years after Anita Hill testified that she was sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, his wife, Virginia, leaves a message on Hill’s phone asking her to apologize to her husband. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> begin with a request for an apology by anita hill .

>> reporter: nearly two decades after one of the most dramatic supreme court confirmations in american history . clarence thomas 's wife is now trying to get her husband's accuser to apologize for those allegations of sexual harassment . anita hill is having none of it.

>> members of the committee, my name is anita f. hill.

>> reporter: almost 20 years later, a bizarre reopening of hill's comments clash. it began over the weekend, when clarence thomas 's wife virginia a political activist left a message on the office voicemail of anita hill . the message said 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. 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 passed what happened so long ago. anita hill turns the message over to campus police . they called in the fbi. hill tells nbc news, i certainly thought the call was inappropriate. i have no intention of apologizing because i testified truthfully about my experience and i stand by that testimony. virginia thomas known as ginnie is active in tea party politics and founded liberty central , a nonprofit organization which promotes education, civil discourse and activism, focused on protecting core founding principles of the united states . it was 1991 when anita hill testified that thomas made crude sexual comments to her in the workplace.

>> he got up from the table on which we were working, went over to his desk to get the cokes. looked at the can and ask who has put pubic hair on my coke.

>> it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way dane to think for themselves, to have different ideas.

>> thomas offered to take a lie detector test. three years ago, hill talked to lester holt about the experience.

>> i was portrayed as crazy, i was portrayed as someone with an arkansas ax to grind, i was portrayed as someone who was in love with clarence thomas .

>> reporter: now she has reopened one of the most emotionally charged political confrontations in supreme court history.

>> andrea mitchell in washington for us on the story.