Law professor Anita Hill takes an oath October 12, 1991, before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington.
JENNIFER K. LAW/AFP/Getty
Law professor Anita Hill takes an oath October 12, 1991, before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington.
Now playing
01:32
Anita Hill speaks on Weinstein, Trump scandals
TOPSHOT - Harvey Weinstein (C) arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court for a hearing on October 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Harvey Weinstein (C) arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court for a hearing on October 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:04
Hear some of Harvey Weinstein's accusers
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: (L-R) Chris Backus, Mira Sorvino and Harvey Weinstein attend HBO's Annual Pre-Golden Globes Party hosted by Colin Callender, Chris Albrecht and Carolyn Strauss at Chateau Marmont on January 14, 2006 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: (L-R) Chris Backus, Mira Sorvino and Harvey Weinstein attend HBO's Annual Pre-Golden Globes Party hosted by Colin Callender, Chris Albrecht and Carolyn Strauss at Chateau Marmont on January 14, 2006 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:38
Mira Sorvino: 'He's raped many people that I love'
Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York, Tuesday, June 5, 2018.  Weinstein pleaded not guilty Tuesday to rape and criminal sex act charges.  The hearing in Manhattan comes after a grand jury indicted the former movie mogul last week on charges involving two women. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/AP
Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Weinstein pleaded not guilty Tuesday to rape and criminal sex act charges. The hearing in Manhattan comes after a grand jury indicted the former movie mogul last week on charges involving two women. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Now playing
01:32
Weinstein pleads not guilty to sex charges
NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today"
Now playing
01:35
McGowan to Weinstein: We got you
Lockdown outside main courthouse entrance / Gingras LIVES NYC Weinstein coverage
CNN
Lockdown outside main courthouse entrance / Gingras LIVES NYC Weinstein coverage
Now playing
01:06
Lawyer: Weinstein didn't invent 'casting couch'
CNN
Now playing
00:46
Harvey Weinstein leaves NYPD in handcuffs
Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette, Angelina Jolie, Asia Argento, Dawn Dunning, Melissa Sagemiller, Mira Sorvino, Heather Graham/// Lauren Sivan, Louisette Geiss, Cara Delevingne, Katherine Kendall, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Minka Kelly, Rose McGowan, Claire Forlani/// Jessica Barth, Kate Beckinsale, Emma de Caunes, Ashley Judd, Judith Godreche, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, Tara Subkoff, Lauren Holly///Sophie Dix, Lysette Anthony, Angie Everhart, Eva Green, Ivana Lowell, Paula Wachowiak, Lena Heady, Lupita Nyong'o, Heather Kerr
Getty Images/AP/New York Times/Zuma Press/Paula Wachowiak/Handout
Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette, Angelina Jolie, Asia Argento, Dawn Dunning, Melissa Sagemiller, Mira Sorvino, Heather Graham/// Lauren Sivan, Louisette Geiss, Cara Delevingne, Katherine Kendall, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Minka Kelly, Rose McGowan, Claire Forlani/// Jessica Barth, Kate Beckinsale, Emma de Caunes, Ashley Judd, Judith Godreche, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, Tara Subkoff, Lauren Holly///Sophie Dix, Lysette Anthony, Angie Everhart, Eva Green, Ivana Lowell, Paula Wachowiak, Lena Heady, Lupita Nyong'o, Heather Kerr
Now playing
01:45
Weinstein accuser: Time 'casting couch' ends
Lockdown outside main courthouse entrance / Gingras LIVES NYC Weinstein coverage
CNN
Lockdown outside main courthouse entrance / Gingras LIVES NYC Weinstein coverage
Now playing
01:20
Lawyer: Confident Weinstein will be exonerated
Harvey Weinstein is escorted into court, Friday, May 25, 2018, in New York. The movie mogul turned himself in at a police precinct earlier Friday.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/AP
Harvey Weinstein is escorted into court, Friday, May 25, 2018, in New York. The movie mogul turned himself in at a police precinct earlier Friday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Now playing
02:18
Weinstein charged with rape, other sex crimes
harvey weinstein surrenders to police new york _00002301.jpg
harvey weinstein surrenders to police new york _00002301.jpg
Now playing
00:48
See Harvey Weinstein surrender to police
Film producer Harvey Weinstein and actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrive for the 50th anniversary gala of the NFT at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank in London.   (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
Film producer Harvey Weinstein and actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrive for the 50th anniversary gala of the NFT at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank in London. (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:17
Gwyneth Paltrow reveals Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Harvey Weinstein attends the 'Lion' premiere and opening ceremony of the 12th Zurich Film Festival at Kino Corso on September 22, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Harvey Weinstein attends the 'Lion' premiere and opening ceremony of the 12th Zurich Film Festival at Kino Corso on September 22, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich Film Festival 2016 will take place from September 22 until October 2. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:10
Weinstein empire unravels amid scandal (2017)
ABC's "Good Morning America"
Now playing
01:30
Ashley Judd on Weinstein: I just fled
Alexander Koerner/Getty Images
Now playing
05:02
Similarities in Weinstein accusers' stories
Getty Images
Now playing
01:06
Report: Weinstein had secret 'hit list'
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Now playing
01:31
Hollywood talked about Weinstein years ago

Story highlights

Joe Biden said he owes Anita Hill an apology for not doing more during Clarence Thomas' confirmation

Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 confirmation hearing

(CNN) —  

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he owes Anita Hill an apology for not doing more for her during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee when Hill testified there in 1991. Hill said she was sexually harassed by Thomas while he was her supervisor at the Department of Education. Thomas denied the allegations, calling the questioning during the hearing a “high-tech lynching.”

In a new interview with Teen Vogue, Biden said he believed Hill, and that he owes her an apology. He said that following criticism over the all-white, all-male committee roster, he campaigned for two female Senators “on the condition that if they won they would come on the Judiciary Committee, so there would never be again all men making a judgement on this.”

“And my one regret is that I wasn’t able to tone down the attacks on her by some of my Republican friends,” Biden said. “I mean, they really went after her. As much as I tried to intervene, I did not have the power to gavel them out of order.”

Biden added that if he could do it again, he would have gone forward with a subpoena for three women, whom he had sign affidavits saying they wouldn’t testify.

“The reason I didn’t, I was worried they would come and not corroborate what she said and make – I mean, Clarence Thomas only won by two votes. And we still thought we had a chance at beating him.”

Regardless, Biden told Teen Vogue, “I wish I had been able to do more for Anita Hill,” adding, “I owe her an apology.”

The comments come amid increased public attention and scrutiny of sexual harassment through the #MeToo social media movement.

Biden, who drafted the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and helped launch the “It’s on Us” campaign to end college sexual assault while still in the White House, was criticized for the questioning he permitted during the 1991 hearing.

“You testified this morning that the most embarrassing question involved – this is not too bad – women’s large breasts,” Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, said during one part of the hearing. “That is a word we use all the time. That was the most embarrassing aspect of what Judge Thomas had said to you.”

Specter added that he could not understand how a lawyer like Hill had not taken notes about her encounters with Thomas.

And Biden himself was the subject of scrutiny when he asked about an interaction with Thomas: “Were you uncomfortable, were you embarrassed, did it not concern you?”

In November, Biden gave an audience in New York a statement similar to the one he offered Teen Vogue. However, he didn’t offer a full apology.

“The message I’ve delivered before is I am so sorry if she believes that,” he said then. “I am so sorry that she had to go through what she went through.”

When asked about Biden’s comments in New York, Hill told the Washington Post, “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.’ … But I still don’t think it takes ownership of his role in what happened.”