Thomas accused of sexual harassment

October 06, 1991|By Newsday

WASHINGTON -- A University of Oklahoma law professor has told the FBI that she was sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas while working for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The professor, Anita F. Hill, told the FBI that Judge Thomas repeatedly discussed sexual matters with her in a suggestive way while she worked for the job discrimination monitoring agency in the early 1980s, according to a source who has seen her statement to the FBI.

While Judge Thomas implicitly pressured Ms. Hill to have sex with her, he never told her explicitly that she would lose her job if she did not, the source said.

Ms. Hill confirmed yesterday that she had told agents she was harassed by Judge Thomas, who was separated from his first wife at the time, but would not discuss the details.

Ms. Hill did not file a formal complaint -- the federal agency charged with investigating such complaints was the EEOC -- but confided in a friend. The FBI has interviewed the friend, who corroborated Ms. Hill's account, the source said.

Judge Thomas could not be reached for comment yesterday. The White House said last night that it had ordered a "full, thorough and expeditious" investigation of the allegation by the FBI on Sept 23. After reviewing the FBI's report, the White House "determined that the allegation was unfounded," said deputy press secretary Judy Smith.

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