Anita Hill, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, said former Vice President Joe Biden didn't take "ownership" when he recently apologized for his role in the experience she went through in relation to Thomas' confirmation hearings in 1991.
"He said, 'I am sorry if she felt she didn’t get a fair hearing.' That’s sort of an 'I’m sorry if you were offended,'" Hill told the Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday.
Despite believing his apology was genuine, Hill said she still didn't think it took "ownership of his role in what happened."
"It was that women were looking to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his leadership to really open the way to have these kinds of hearings," she said. "They should have been using best practices to show leadership on this issue on behalf of women’s equality. And they did just the opposite."
Biden, a former senator from Delaware, was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when former President George H. W. Bush nominated Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court bench.
After an interview Hill gave to the FBI, in which she alleged Thomas harassed her when they both worked at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission a decade earlier, was leaked to the press, she was called to testify at the confirmation hearings for Thomas.
In the wake of Thomas' eventual confirmation, the all-male, all-white judiciary panel was criticized for its intense, explicit scrutiny of Hill's testimony as part of the televised probe.
During a Nov. 13 event at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Summit, Biden said he was “so sorry” for what Hill went through.
Hill insisted the hearings were "still a teachable moment" because women continue to experience similar problems.
"Just having somebody come forward is not enough," Hill said. "You’ve got to be able to come into a system that respects and values our experiences and our work and our integrity. And we’re not there yet."