Clarence Thomas Anita Hill Sexual Harassment

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Overview of this Controversy

Date Originated: October of 1991
Categories: Clarence Thomas
NPR's Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg received a leaked Judiciary Committee/FBI report that a former colleague of Thomas, University of Oklahoma law school professor Anita Hill, accused him of making unwelcome sexual comments to her when the two worked together at the Department of Education and EEOC. On October 11, 1991, Hill was called to testify during the hearing. She sought to emphasize the inappropriate nature of the alleged behavior, rather than focusing on whether it was illegal or not, but said that in her view it was indeed illegal, adding that it might not "rise to the level" of illegal sexual harassment. She also alleged lurid details about her time with Thomas at the Department of Education: "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....On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess."
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