Twenty-six years after Anita Hill spoke out about the alleged sexual harassment she suffered at the hands of then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Joe Biden has come forward to say that he believed that “Hill was victimized.” Hill had alleged that Thomas sexually harassed her while serving as her supervisor by repeatedly asking her out, graphically describing his sexual prowess while at work, and even by talking to her about “such matters as women having sex with animals.” Biden, who served as the chairman of the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee that found Thomas innocent of sexual harassment, had at the time been accused of underplaying Hill’s accusations against Thomas, and even of making a deal with Republicans to silence female witnesses who tried to speak on Hill’s behalf.
Appearing at the Glamour 2017 Women of the Year Live Summit, Biden expressed regret about what Hill “went through.”
“Think of the courage it took for her to come forward. [S]he got put through hell during [the testimony],” said Biden. “I feel really badly that she didn’t feel like the process worked. But I tell you what, I said something at the time that proved to be right — I said this is going to be the start of a fundamental change in what constitutes harassment in the workplace, and people are going to begin to change.”
“I believed in Anita. I voted against Clarence Thomas,” Biden added. “Anita Hill was victimized, there is no question in my mind. Maybe I could have handled it better from the beginning, but I made her case on the floor and I made her case in the committee.”
Hill, who attended the Glamour Summit but only heard his statements afterward, told Yahoo Lifestyle that she was “happy to hear” about Biden’s apology. Speaking to Yahoo, Hill also addressed the ongoing Harvey Weinstein saga, and expressed hope that increased transparency about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault would “bring women and their families who have had this experience closer together and lift this burden from them, so they can be fully themselves and not hide.”
Below, watch a clip of Biden’s remarks.
Read the full story at Yahoo Lifestyle.