Meghan Markle and Prince Harry respond to Jeremy Clarkson’s latest public apology.
On Monday, the British TV presenter shared a statement expressing his remorse for writing a controversial article published by The Sun newspaper in December. At the time, the 62-year-old wrote that he hates the Duchess of Sussex “on a cellular level” and dreams of being paraded naked in British cities “while audiences chant ‘Shame!’ Throw lumps of excrement at her.
While Clarkson claimed he communicated with the couple on Christmas Day, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex denied his claim, stating that he only communicated with Harry.
“On December 25, 2022, Mr. Clarkson just wrote to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex,” read a statement sent to Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “The contents of his correspondence have been marked private and confidential.”
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“While Mr. Clarkson issued a new public apology today, what remains to be addressed is his longstanding pattern of writing articles that propagate hate speech, dangerous conspiracy theories, and misogyny,” the statement said. “Unless each of his other pieces were written ‘in a hurry’,” he says, “this is clearly not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared out of hate.”
Clarkson, whose apology was posted on Instagram, wrote: “One of the strange things I have noticed lately is that whenever an MP or well-known person is asked to apologize for something, no matter how sincere or deep that apology may be. It is never enough for people who called for it in the first place.”
Clarkson claimed he felt “sick” to see the “awful” story in print.
“I was thinking of the scene in Game of Thrones, but I forgot to mention,” Clarkson explained. “So it was as if I was actually calling for a rebellion of violence to rain down on Meghan’s head.”
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Clarkson said he felt “ashamed” and “angry with myself” after his article was published.
“I am not a sexist and I hate violence against women,” he wrote. “However, I seem to be advocating exactly that.”
“So I wrote to everyone who worked with me to say how sorry I was, and then on Christmas morning I emailed Harry and Meghan in California to apologize to them too,” he said. “I said I was baffled by what they were saying on TV but the language I used in my column was disgraceful and I am terribly sorry.”
“So can I move on now? I’m not sure,” Clarkson admitted. “It’s hard to be fun and mindful at the same time…but I promise you this, I’ll try.”
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“So I’m going to try to reverse the trend this morning with an apology for the things I said in my Sun column recently about Meghan Markle,” he said. “I’m really sorry. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles of my head. This is me raising my hand. It’s wrong with bells.”
Clarkson continued, “I usually read what I wrote to someone else before recording, but I was home alone on that fateful day, and in such a hurry.” “So when I was done, I just hit send. And then, when the column came up the next day, the landmine exploded.”
Clarkson’s original column sparked immediate backlash. According to the independent Press Standards Authority, it has received more than 12,000 complaints, which is close to the total number of complaints it received in all of 2021.
Public figures also condemned the article, including Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who called it “hugely misogynistic, appalling and appalling.”
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Clarkson’s daughter, Emily Clarkson, took to Instagram and wrote, “I stand against everything my dad has written about Meghan Markle and I stand in support of those targeted with hate online.”
When asked about the article, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “language is important for everyone in public life”. He added: “I don’t think at all that Britain is a racist country.”
Clarkson’s article came on the heels of the release of a six-part Netflix documentary series, “Harry & Meghan.” She looked back at the couple’s acrimonious break with the British royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have stepped down from their royal duties and moved to California in 2020. They cited a lack of support from the palace and the press’s racist treatment of the Duchess, who is biracial.
American actress Markle, who starred in the legal drama “Suits”, married the British prince in 2018.
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In the aftermath of the protest, Clarkson said he was “horrified that he had done so much harm”. At the time, he said the audience shaming image was a “clumsy reference” to a scene in “Game of Thrones.”
“I am terrified because I have caused so much harm and I will be more careful in the future,” he wrote on Twitter.
Clarkson made his name as the combative host of the BBC car show Top Gear.
The couple’s response to Clarkson’s allegations came about a week after Harry’s memoir “Spear” was published. Discussing the book with Tom Bradby for an interview on ITV, the 38-year-old described how comments like Clarkson’s can lead to serious repercussions.
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“When we talk about impeachment, you know, recently, which I know you know about, um, you know, Jeremy Clarkson article,” Harry said. “Not only was what he said appalling, hurtful and cruel towards my wife, but it also encourages other people across the UK and around the world, especially men, to go and think that it is okay for women to be treated in this way.”
“You know, to use my stepmother’s words lately too, there’s a global pandemic of violence — violence against women,” said Harry. The father-of-two was referring to Camilla, the final speech the Queen Consort delivered at a reception at Buckingham Palace to raise awareness of violence against women.
Harry and Meghan also described how the couple faced hate and threats on social media. Markle, 41, described how one disturbing tweet read: “Meghan just needs to die. Someone needs to kill her. Maybe it should be me.”
“I am a mother,” she said tearfully. “It’s my real life.
You know? And this is the piece you see, and you go: ‘You’re making people want to kill me.'” It’s not just a tabloid. It’s not just a story. You make me feel afraid. “
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“And like that night, being up and down in the middle of the night and you looking into my hallway like, ‘Are we safe? Are the doors locked? Is security on? “That’s real! Are my kids safe?” “And you made it for what? Because you’re bored or because it sells your papers, or it makes you feel better about your life? It’s real what you do.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in Montecito, California, with their two children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.