Silenced Clarence Thomas accuser speaks out on Kavanaugh hearing: ‘We’re headed down the same path’

Angela Wright was subpoenaed to testify at Thomas’ confirmation hearings 27 years ago, but instead witnessed senators grill Anita Hill.

Clarence Thomas AP
Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas sits as he is introduced during an event at the Library of Congress in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

A woman who accused Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment nearly three decades ago said she sees some similarities with current high court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who fate hangs in the balance amid an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.

READ MORE: Christine Blasey Ford delivers powerful testimony: I’m ‘100 percent’ certain Brett Kavanaugh assaulted me

The woman, Angela Wrightworked for Thomas when he chaired the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1980s. During a recent interview with Vice News, she expressed empathy for Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor who testified Thursday that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

Ford tearfully told a Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that she believed Kavanaugh “was going to rape me,” and “100 percent” certain that he attacked her at a party when they both were teenagers 36 years ago. Kavanaugh denies the allegations. The committee voted to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full Senate pending an FBI investigation.  

Wright said she initially didn’t see much of a comparison between Thomas’ and Kavanaugh’s hearings, but that changed after hearing more about Ford and a second accuser, Deborah Ramirez.

Wright was an assistant metro editor at the Charlotte Observer when was subpoenaed to testify during Thomas’ confirmation hearings 27 years ago. She told Senate investigators that when she worked as the EEOC’s public affairs director, Thomas was lewd and crass. She said he was pressuring her to go out with him. Wright said Thomas also asked about breast size and showed up at her apartment uninvited.

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But instead of testifying, Wright uncomfortably witnessed Anita Hill, who worked for Thomas at the EEOC and the Department of Education, get grilled while giving her accounts of being sexually harassed by Thomas, who vigorously denied the accusations.

“I was listening to her tell her story made me want to defend her,” Wright told Vice News about Hill’s gripping testimony. “She was treated horribly and called all kinds of names. She needed someone to come to her defense.”

Wright said the all-male Senate panel didn’t want to corroborate Hill’s testimony. The panel later voted in favor of Thomas and he was eventually confirmed to the Supreme Court. He’s currently the longest-serving judge on the bench.

Wright, who’s currently a freelance journalist, told Vice that she’s concerned about Ramirez, Kavanaugh’s other accuser. During an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday, Wright said she while initially thought Kavanaugh would still be confirmed, but is now having doubts.

“I believe Professor Ford. But I wasn’t comfortable with the #MeToo movement saying he’s a rapist,” she said. “Now, other information has come forward from Deborah Ramirez. Ok, this wasn’t one encounter, this is part of his character.”