Clarence Thomas's Ex Speaks Out About His Harassing Habits

Clarence Thomas's ex-girlfriend says he was "obsessed with porn," and now she's shopping a memoir. So is that why Virginia Thomas made her phone call?

Lillian McEwen, who dated Thomas from 1981 to about 1986, did not testify in his confirmation hearings. But she told the Washington Post earlier this week, "The Clarence I know was certainly capable not only of doing the things that Anita Hill said he did, but it would be totally consistent with the way he lived his personal life then." And in a longer interview published today, McEwen says Thomas "was always actively watching the women he worked with to see if they could be potential partners. It was a hobby of his." She adds that "he was obsessed with porn. He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting" — which is interesting since unwanted talk about porn movies was one of the types of sexual harassment Anita Hill reported. McEwen says Thomas also once told her about asking a woman at work what bra size she wore. Telling your girlfriend about the inappropriate questions you ask your coworkers seems bizarrely arrogant — did Thomas really think that kind of thing was okay? — but the admission didn't really affect him, until now.

McEwen is shopping a memoir, which will presumably include more details about her relationship with Thomas. According to the Post, she remained on "reasonably friendly" terms with him after they broke up — is it possible that that Thomas and his wife knew about her book? And that by calling Anita Hill, Ginni Thomas was trying to get out in front of the bad press that said book might bring? One reader who wrote us opined that McEwen's book explained Thomas's actions: "She's not stupid at all." But if this was Ginni Thomas's plan, she'd have to assume that Hill would be willing to recant statements she's never wavered from, and that she wouldn't be offended by the suggestion that she'd lied. Still sounds pretty dumb to us.

Lillian McEwen Breaks Her 19-Year Silence About Justice Clarence Thomas [Washington Post]
Virginia Thomas Seeks Apology From Anita Hill [Washington Post]

Earlier: It's Time We All Admit That Ginni Thomas Might Be Stupid
Clarence Thomas's Wife Leaves Ridiculous Voicemail For Anita Hill