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Lillian McEwen, Clarence Thomas's ex, says things got bad when he stopped drinking (video)


(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Lillian McEwen said her relationship with longtime boyfriend Clarence Thomas changed dramatically when he stopped drinking, started jogging and got serious about his career.

That's when she broke up with him.

Her description of Thomas's early-80s "transformation" seemed to baffle her interviewer, Larry King, on CNN Monday night. "That should have been a good thing," he said.

But McEwen, a retired administrative law judge, argued that when heavy drinkers quit abruptly, "what happens to them is not pretty" -- in the case of Thomas, she said, he became "irritable, angry, short-tempered, asexual." He ran 10 to 15 miles every day and "was a bully" to his son, and "his ambition became overwhelming."

McEwen didn't make much news in her 30-minute interview. Thomas wrote about his drinking in his 2007 memoir and how he quit cold turkey around 1982. McEwen spoke for the first time about Thomas last week to the Washington Post, saying that Anita Hill's 1991 testimony about alleged sexual harassment by the future Supreme Court justice rang true to her. Thomas's rep has said he's not commenting.

In both interviews, McEwen has dropped little bits of startling personal news and then insisted she didn't think it was a big deal. Thomas's porn habit, as she described it on CNN -- nothing shocking to her, "I didn't disapprove of it, I just didn't care," even considering his career goals at the time: "I assume that many Supreme Court justices watch porn and enjoy porn. I mean, it's very popular on the Internet, that's why most people use their computers, is to watch porn, especially men."

Okay, then! McEwen also divulged that she always kind of sort of thought Thomas had something going on with Hill. Based on...? McEwen's only evidence seemed to be the fact that Hill always kept her distance, and that Thomas often asked McEwen to come to the office, which she assumed was "so that [Hill] would see... that there was another woman in his life."

By The Reliable Source  | October 25, 2010; 11:52 PM ET
 
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Comments

What would be in the Clarence Thomas office fun kit?

Posted by: gradya3 | October 26, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: johngreg26 | October 26, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

It's really pathetic that when Clarence Thomas looks in the mirror and gags, he sees the image of a darker version of "Slush Slimbaugh" staring back at'em. Twenty years ago, I believed that Anita Hill was telling the truth even though Orin Hatch made Thomas look like he was the 2nd. coming. Folks, please 'splain to me "What would make a Black man raised in the segregated south, hate himself and his Black country persons so viciously." I wonder how his wife gonna walk around those Tea Part rallies talking about her devout, Christian hubby! LOL!!

Posted by: fanteeking | October 26, 2010 4:32 AM | Report abuse

See, told ya its about anger and not sex even if they do "rise" to the occasion!

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | October 26, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

I listened and taped McEwen's interview with Larry King last night, and what I heard was a very intelligent observant woman who seemed relieved to finally expose a man she knew to be an incompetent liar who was unstable and very vengeful elevated to our highest court through lies of those who voted him into an office he was incapable of fulfilling! I also felt relived to know I was right all along that Anita Hill was an honest witness and that Clarence Thomas was a fraud! The Thomas's have been exposed!! Have a nice day, Ginni.

Posted by: twistbar67 | October 26, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I found Larry King's interview with Lillian McEwen absolutely wrenching to watch. Let me be clear that I'm no fan of Clarence Thomas, but much of what Ms. McEwen had to say was so bizarre, her remarks that Thomas and Anita Hill "might have had a sexual relationship" so unsubstantiated that I can't help but wonder if this is a woman scorned who after 19 years is trying to get her revenge. And then there's the book she's "shopping around." I guess she hopes to get a million dollar advance or some such payment for "telling it all." She's just not credible, as far as I'm concerned. As a black woman, I found this interview embarrassing and see no good coming out of it. At best it's slanderous in terms of what she's saying about Anita Hill. This woman is an attorney. I would think that she would have been much more articulate and would have presented some evidence to back up her claims about the "sexual" relationship she thinks Anita Hill had with Clarence Thomas. Saying that she believes so because he often asked her to come to his office so that Anita Hill could see that there was another woman in his life is a bit crazy. She came across as more than a bit crazy. There! I've said it.

Sandra Adell, Professor

Posted by: saadell1 | October 26, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Clarence Thomas - perjurer.

Posted by: egc52556 | October 26, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Boy Thomas really knows how to pick em!

The only thing worse than having a sleeze like him on the bench is having to listen to his wife and former g'friend.

Posted by: familynet | October 26, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Once again, a disgruntled ditched spouse finds her public voice. She's not believable.

Posted by: BaloneyGuy | October 26, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Pretty laughable that Snorin' Orrin Hatch supported this guy's porn addiction as 'ok' enough to serve on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: HillRat | October 26, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

So the question is: if Anita Hill was telling the truth (as I believe) did Clarence Thomas perjure himself for a lifetime Supreme Court seat? One of them lied, and the evidence now seems to suggest it wasn't her.
Still another fundamental question the media doesn't seem that interested in.

Posted by: kstack | October 26, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Many women know of a boss who harassed them at the office. Unfortunately, now, we know even more about th ability of Justice Thomas to be truthful. Of course, he wanted the job and his "to be" wife wanted him. And so it goes.

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | October 26, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post once again engaging in tabloid journalism.

Posted by: forgetthis | October 26, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Forgetthis, don't you realize the column you are commenting about is the "Gossip" Column and is so labeled?

Posted by: AlfromAlexandria | October 26, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

This woman is no psychologist so I take her opinions with a grain of salt. But, the comments and stories she tells about her experiences with Clarence Thomas show that Thomas is one wretched, troubled soul.

I know of many dry drunks who despite being successful in avoiding alcohol, tend to binge in other ways. Extreme behavior is just another way to alleviate your demons.

Perhaps now he has overcome this, but he still is trapped in a lie and that cannot be good living it. My bottom line? He perjured himself and should not have been confirmed to the supreme court because of his character and temperament.

Posted by: sandnsmith | October 26, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

For a woman of significant accomplishment, she came across as a flake in her Larry King interview. I had trouble following her seriously. That said, it is obvious the woman spent several years with this man and knows enough and shared enough to confirm what we already knew -- he lied. And if Ginni Thomas didn't know it before, she sure as heck should know it now. I don't know what she thought she was doing by calling Anita Hill. She shoulda just let sleeping dogs lie if she wanted to continue with her marriage and moved on.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | October 26, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't President Clinton impeached because of perjury? It it quite clear from the days of the Senate Committee Hearings that Thomas has perjured himself and he should be impeached! Not only that - but the Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision to allow large corporations/banks/foreign countries to contribute to OUR DEMOCRATIC ELECTION is a dishonest decision so far as Thomas is concerned. He should NOT have been allowed to judge on that decision because his wife heads up a 501(c)3 'tea party' type organization, which rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars for candidates her organization chooses! I surely, goodness, and mercy do hope our FREE press will not let the THOMAS story die away.

Posted by: rbsher | October 26, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Kennedy was onto him at the confirmation hearings...and what were conservatives wailing about at the time? Anyone remember? Trying to regulate the internet from porn...low and behold, we had a judge with more experience in porn than in law. Irony at its best.


Posted by: ScottChallenger | October 26, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

After seeing the interview last night, I'm not sure that Clarence Thomas necessarily perjured himself, as Ms. McEwen clearly stated that he conditioned all of his statements with specific details. He's a lawyer and knows how to craft his words carefully. But he did intentionally mislead and misrepresent during the hearings. He is not worthy of his title.

I thought McEwen came off totally credible. Considering the nature of their relationship (not emotionally committed, but physically intimate), it was totally believeable what Thomas was trying to do in getting McEwen to visit him at the office. It even sounded like she and Clarence were swingers - in their freewheeling sex lives that she did not want to discuss in detail last night. Maybe it will be in the book!

Posted by: Dr20854 | October 26, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

So, she broke up with him because he overcame a drinking problem, started exercising, worked hard and had professional goals? She preferred a man who drank, did not exercise, and had no professional ambition. Sounds like she did not care about what was best for him, much less herself. Maybe it is true that when he decided to change his life for the better she was no longer compatible with him because she prefers a dysfunctional life. This is the oddest explanation for leaving somebody I have ever heard...

Posted by: walker2 | October 26, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Fairly or not, we hold our leaders to a higher moral standard than we do the rabble.

That means while our neighbor can enjoy that smut on the Internets, if that person is a U.S. Supreme Court justice, s/he isn't permitted to access that very same smut. Honestly, I don't care if Justice Thomas is all about that.

However, what I can't tolerate is a liar. Take the fifth, drink a fifth, but don't lie. If you do, expect to lose the faith of the American people. Sorry, that's the way it is.

Posted by: cfow1 | October 26, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Impeach Uncle Thomas now!!

Posted by: soccerhead | October 26, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

This woman is no psychologist so I take her opinions with a grain of salt. But, the comments and stories she tells about her experiences with Clarence Thomas show that Thomas is one wretched, troubled soul.

I know of many dry drunks who despite being successful in avoiding alcohol, tend to binge in other ways. Extreme behavior is just another way to alleviate your demons.

Perhaps now he has overcome this, but he still is trapped in a lie and that cannot be good living it. My bottom line? He perjured himself and should not have been confirmed to the supreme court because of his character and temperament.

Posted by: sandnsmith | October 26, 2010 10:02 AM
====================

Funny that it's OK to elect a dry drunk to be US President for 2 terms, and then turn around and elect a dry coke user. I wonder how mean Obama would be if he ever kicked his cigarette habit? Why don't we let him get through 2016 before we let him quit.

U.S. Grant was also a dry drunk.

His ex-girlfriend thinks he had something going on with Anita Hill. His wife's comment to Anita Hill on the phone was "what you did WITH my husband" not "what you did TO my husband".

There's more to this story than Thomas or Hill are admitting to. The truth is always somewhere in the middle of two opposing stories because all involved try to make themselves look completely innocent when people seldom are.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 26, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Is it so hard to believe that a self-proclaimed alcoholic was interested in porn and when he got dry he was mean and blindly ambitious? Adiction can have radical affects on people. Anyone that knew him before the change would likely not recognize him after. Once he got dry, his whole career has been about bullying his way through. Playing the victim when it suits him and telling others that life is hard and they need to suck it up.
He had a bad attitude then and it hasn't gotten any better. He wouldn't have had a chance if it weren't for everyone getting burned out after the Bork nomination.

Posted by: waltermarx | October 26, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think it's amazing that this has come up again but for Justice Thomas, he should never have let his wife off the leash. Now it's going to get real ugly and he's not in a hearing room to yell at anyone questioning him. Must be fun to have ex girlfriends talk in public about your sexual proclivities. Did she mention any pubic hairs??????

Posted by: purveyors | October 26, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Will Viginia Thomas be calling Lillian McEwen for an apology?

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | October 26, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Any republican who claims Thomas is a true conservative, guided by honor and serving as a paragon of a law abiding citizen, and then who's willing to support his continued presence on the Supreme Court, after digesting Lillian McEwen's previously suppressed story, needs to re-examine the 'values' they espouse...

Posted by: thanksforfish | October 26, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

If you think Justice Thomas is somehow unqualified, then how do you explain Sotomayor? She joined a Appeals Court opinion that it was ok to discriminate against white men and was confirmed to join the court...all with a straight face!

Shame on you Obama supporters!

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Posted by: dfhjadfjsdf | October 26, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I find Judge McEwen to be credible. Clarence Thomas was selected to be an Associate Justice, only because of his evil agenda. While his skin is black, his heart is all KKK. He married a Daughter of the Confederacy, in spirit, if not in fact. He is the kind of black, who would have owned fellow blacks, as slaves, and bthere were a handful who did exactly that, especially in Louisiana, where their white masters devised those slaves, by will, to fellow blacks, whom they freed, just before their demise. As there were Khazar collaborators, during the Holocaust of WWII, there are true Hebrew collaborators today. Read Deutoronomy 28, to learn who the true Hebrews are, and their curse of disobedience.

Posted by: TheStoicOne | October 26, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I find Judge McEwen to be credible. Clarence Thomas was selected to be an Associate Justice, only because of his evil agenda. While his skin is black, his heart is all KKK. He married a Daughter of the Confederacy, in spirit, if not in fact. He is the kind of black, who would have owned fellow blacks, as slaves, and there were a handful who did exactly that, especially in Louisiana, where their white masters devised those slaves, by will, to fellow blacks, whom they freed, just before their demise. As there were Khazar collaborators, during the Holocaust of WWII, there are true Hebrew collaborators today. Read Deutoronomy 28, to learn who the true Hebrews are, and their curse of disobedience.

Posted by: TheStoicOne | October 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

DELETE the SPAM POSTS by dfhjadfjsd

Posted by: digtldesk | October 26, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

this is nonsense-woman not credible-political and she admitted she is shopping a book- and p.s. read "the real anita hill"

Posted by: nanfal722 | October 26, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

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