Anita Hill refuses to accept Joe Biden’s apology: ‘I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry’

Chris Riotta

Anita Hill - the woman whose treatment during Justice Clarence Thomas’ Senate confirmation hearings Joe Biden has said he regrets - says she spoke with the former vice president this month in a phone call that left her feeling "deeply unsatisfied."

She said she's unconvinced that he accepts the harm he caused her when he presided over a congressional hearing during Justice Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation process in 1991.

In an interview with The New York Times published Thursday, Ms Hill said: "I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I'm sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose."

Ms Hill also said she cannot support Mr Biden until he takes responsibility for his actions. She told the newspaper she’s "troubled" by allegations that he touched women in ways that made them uncomfortable.

Mr Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Hill's 1991 hearing, where she testified Justice Thomas had sexually harassed her.

The presidential hopeful has said he wishes he could have avoided questioning by some male lawmakers that he called "hostile and insulting."

“To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” he said last month, echoing comments he delivered last fall as the nation debated sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh amid his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. “I wish I could have done something.”

Ms Hill said Mr Biden “needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw” during the hearings.

“There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence,” she added.

Mr Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield confirmed the former vice president called Ms Hill, telling the Times in a statement, “They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report