Clarence Thomas' Ex-Girlfriend Lillian McEwen Throws Him Under the Bus and Backs Over Him a Few Times
Well I hope teabagger Ginni Thomas is proud of herself for her phone call to Anita Hill asking her to apologize for her testimony about her husband during his confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court 19 years ago, because it seems she's brought some other women out of the woodwork to defend Anita Hill. I can only hope that McEwen isn't the last of them.
One of Clarence Thomas's ex-girlfriends, Lillian McEwen appeared on Larry King Live and pretty much threw Thomas under the bus and backed over him a few times. Here are some of the more devastating portions of the interview and you can read the entire transcript here.
LARRY KING: Good evening. In 1991, Anita Hill leveled some explosive charges during the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas who ultimately became an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Those accusations resurfaced recently, when one of Thomas' former girlfriends spoke out about them. Lillian McEwen is that person. She is a former federal prosecutor, administrative judge, and council to the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is her first and only network, prime-time interview.
Silent all these years, Lillian, you could have been a valuable edition to those hearings, why not?
LILLIAN MCEWEN: I was not subpoenaed by either side.
KING: Did they know about you?
KING: Both sides?
KING: Well, obviously, Judge Thomas 's side wasn't going to subpoena you to appear, right? That would not have been in their best interests?
MCEWEN: I don't know.
KING: Joe Biden was head of the Senate Committee, right?
KING: What was the reason for not hearing your story?
MCEWEN: I don't know.
KING: Well, what happened, they just rejected it?
MCEWEN: What I asked Clarence about was, what position should I take in reference to any reporters who wanted to talk to me, or anything that he wanted to emphasize as far as my relationship with him was concerned. His response to me was the position his first wife had taken, Kathy, was fine with him, which said to me that his wishes were that I would say nothing to the press. So I acceded to his wishes as far as my -- making myself available to the press.
KING: But you did write to Senator Biden then, right?
MCEWEN: I did write a note to Senator Biden's staff saying that- reminding them that Clarence and I had a very close relationship, and reminding them also, that he used to come frequently to the office space. And was friendly with much of the staff there, on Biden's staff, in the Russell Senate Office Building, just in case they had forgotten.
KING: You were not going to accede to his wishes about saying nothing, if Biden had called you, you would have appeared?
MCEWEN: Of course, if I had been subpoenaed, I would have appeared. And if the Senator had asked me questions, I certainly would have answered them. But that didn't occur either.
KING: In her testimony at the 1991 confirmation hearings, Anita Hill said that Clarence Thomas made workplace comments to her that included references to pornography. Here's some of what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films, involving such matters as women having sex with animals, and films showing group sex, or rape scenes. He talked about pornographic materials, depicting individuals with large penis' or large breasts involved in various sex acts. On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, when you saw that, Lillian, what did you think?
MCEWEN: I thought she was telling the truth.
KING: Based on your own observations about him?
KING: Were you shocked that someone was saying this publicly?
KING: Did you know Anita Hill?
MCEWEN: Not well. But, yes, I knew her.
KING: And you weren't surprised that she was coming forward and saying this?
KING: Were you surprised that he was approved?
MCEWEN: Given the rules that the hearing allowed to apply to the testimony and to the witnesses, I was not surprised that he was approved.
KING: By the way, we reached out to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas for a statement about this interview and the topics we're addressing, and we were told he has no comment. We'll be right back.
KING: We're back with Lillian McEwen. We have another excerpt from Clarence Thomas' confirmation testimony. It is a flat denial of Anita Hill's allegations and a comment about how the charges that she made affected him. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: Since September 25th, I have suffered immensely as these very serious charges were leveled against me. I have been wracking my brains and eating my insides out trying to think of what I could have said or done to Anita Hill to lead her to allege that I was interested in her in more than a professional way. And that I talked with her about pornographic or X-rated films.
Contrary to some press reports. I categorically denied all of the allegations and denied that I ever attempted to date Anita Hill, when first interviewed by the FBI. I strongly reaffirm that denial.
KING: Was he lying?
MCEWEN: He was parsing his words very carefully.
KING: He said he didn't try to date her. He didn't try to do anything with her, he was denying what she was saying, wasn't he?
MCEWEN: I think he said at that time or something like that. Every time he makes a statement, he qualifies it, that to me, that doesn't mean he did not have a sexual relationship with her at some point in time, other than these events that she's stating. And it -- he's talking about what she said. It's very carefully worded.
KING: Sort of like what is, "is"?
MCEWEN: Yes, sort of like that.
KING: What do you make of his wife calling Anita Hill last week?
MCEWEN: When I first heard it, I was half asleep. And it was brought to my attention by Michael Fletcher, a reporter that I knew on "The Washington Post" who I had never allowed to interview me, and never given a statement to. And he tricked me into giving him my impression of what that meant. And it was a genuine response that I gave him half asleep. And it was that it doesn't surprise me at all.
KING: Why do you think she called her?
MCEWEN: She called Anita Hill because this is a subject that is a source of great angst for her husband. It's also most likely a subject that is mysterious to her, because so much of that particular complex subject makes no sense in the version that her husband would have given her over the years. She most likely thought that she was solving a problem for her husband. She most likely thought she was doing him a favor by making that call.
KING: You think, therefore, it's still discussed in that marriage?
MCEWEN: I think that Clarence has never told his wife the truth about the kind of activity that he engaged in at that point in time, when he was at EEOC and at Education. I don't think he's told her the truth about his preferences, sexually. I don't think he's told her the truth about the relationships that he had with women who worked at EEOC other than Anita Hill, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
KING: What is one of those preferences sexually?
MCEWEN: Well, it's kind of complicated, and I don't feel comfortable talking about that in this context.
KING: What do you think generally of his decisions on the court?
MCEWEN: His decisions to me can be very simply explained. And the explanation, I think, for the originalism, for the stark conservatism, for the disparate treatment of different kinds of groups is simply this: he is rewarding those people that he thinks are his friends. He is also punishing those people he thinks are his enemies.
KING: So it's personal?
MCEWEN: It is extremely personal.
KING: But he benefited from affirmative action?
MCEWEN: Yes, he did.
KING: And he's been against it?
KING: How do you explain that?
MCEWEN: Simple, punishing his enemies and rewarding his friends. His enemies are people who are active in civil rights, professors who have criticized him, and anybody who disagrees with the conservative friends he has, such as Rush Limbaugh.
KING: Why did you come out now?
MCEWEN: Come out now?
KING: Well --
MCEWEN: That's kind of a loaded question.
KING: You had a good friend at "the Washington Post" and you never spoke to him about it.
MCEWEN: That's true. First, he caught me by surprise with the question about the phone call. And secondly, at this point in my life, I'm a lot older. I've written what I want to write about my own life. And Clarence is just a part of that. I have no fear any more.
KING: Thank you, Lillian. Lillian McEwen, former girlfriend of Justice Clarence Thomas. Again, we reached out to Justice Thomas for a statement on tonight's interview. We were told no comment.
And one last note, thanks so much to now Vice President Joe Biden for allowing this unqualified person to be allowed to be appointed to the Supreme Court. I don't know what you traded off to keep these women from testifying, but I hope you think it was worth it in the face of the Citizens United ruling.