Anita Hill has said she cannot support Joe Biden’s presidential campaign until he takes “full accountability” for his handling of harassment claims she made against a Supreme Court nominee.
Biden has been widely criticised over the way he presided over Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing, and Ms Hill’s complaints, back in 1991.
Ms Hill told The New York Times he had called her before announcing his bid.
But the professor says she was left “deeply unsatisfied” by his approach.
She revealed, however, that during the call Mr Biden expressed his “regret for what she endured” during the hearing.
“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying ‘I’m sorry for what happened to you’,” Ms Hill told the newspaper. “I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose.”
Ms Hill was called to testify at Mr Thomas’ confirmation hearing after an FBI interview with her was leaked to the press.
The hearing was conducted by an all-white and all-male panel, and several women apparently willing to corroborate Ms Hill’s account were not called to testify by Mr Biden.
Decades on, the event remains controversial and is considered an enduring roadblock for the former vice-president – who remains favourite to secure the Democratic nomination.
Earlier this month, Mr Biden pledged to be “more mindful” about physical contact with women after a number accused him of unwelcome touching.
Meanwhile, he has also been criticised by the mother of a woman who was killed in Charlottesville in 2017.
Susan Bro revealed the presidential hopeful had not warned her that he planned to invoke the death of Heather Heyer during his campaign launch video.
“Most people do that sort of thing. They capitalize on whatever situation is handy,” she told the Daily Beast.
“He didn’t reach out to me, and didn’t mention her by name specifically, and he probably knew we don’t endorse candidates.”