TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson has said he has emailed Prince Harry and Meghan to apologise over his column in The Sun newspaper, in which he said he “hated” the Duchess of Sussex.
In his column, which was published in December, he was “dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her”.
The remarks sparked a huge backlash, with Clarkson’s daughter Emily, as well as many others, speaking out against him.
The column became the most complained about ever and was removed from The Sun’s website at Clarkson’s request, with the publisher also apologising.
Following the backlash, Clarkson wrote: “Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it. In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people. I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”
In his latest statement, he said: “It was a slow rumble to start with and I ignored it. But then the rumble got louder. So I picked up a copy of The Sun to see what all the fuss was about.
“We’ve all been there, I guess. In that precise moment when we suddenly realise we’ve completely messed up. You are sweaty and cold at the same time. And your head pounds. And you feel sick. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It was horrible.
“I knew what had happened straight away. I’d been thinking of a scene in Games Of Thrones, but I’d forgotten to mention this. So it looked like I was actually calling for revolting violence to rain down on Meghan’s head. I was very angry with myself because in all those controversial days on Top Gear, when I was accused of all sorts of things, it was very rarely sexism.
“We never did ‘women can’t park’ gags for instance. Or suggested that powerful cars were only for men. And I was thrilled when Jodie Kidd and Ellen MacArthur set fastest-ever laps in our reasonably-priced car. I’m just not sexist and I abhor violence against women. And yet I seemed to be advocating just that.
“I was mortified and so was everyone else. My phone went mad. Very close friends were furious. Even my own daughter took to Instagram to denounce me.”