In Clarkson’s since-deleted article he described “hating” the Duchess of Sussex and “dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain”.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Clarkson said: “I really am sorry. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head. This is me putting my hands up. It’s a mea culpa with bells on.”
Clarkson said that whereas he typically reads his writing to someone else before filing it: “I was home alone on that fateful day, and in a hurry. So when I’d finished, I just pressed send.”
Clarkson said that he felt “sweaty and cold” when he saw his article in The Sun and realised how it came across. Following the backlash, he said he wrote to everyone he works with to apologise, adding: “…on Christmas morning, I emailed Harry and Meghan in California to apologise to them too.
“I said I was baffled by what they had been saying on TV but that the language I’d used in my column was disgraceful and that I was profoundly sorry.”
Clarkson did not disclose whether he received a response at the time, but the Sussexes have subsequently released a statement rubbishing Clarkson’s apology.
“On December 25, 2022, Mr Clarkson wrote solely to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex,” it reads. “The contents of his correspondence were marked Private and Confidential.
“While a new public apology has been issued today [Monday] by Mr Clarkson, what remains to be addressed is his long standing pattern of writing articles that spread hate rhetoric, dangerous conspiracy theories, and misogyny.
“Unless each of his other pieces were also written ‘in a hurry’, as he states, it is clear that this is not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared in hate.”
In his statement, Clarkson identified his main error as not explicitly mentioning that the scene he was describing – in which, per his original wording, “the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her” – was a reference to Game of Thrones.
“So it looked like I was actually calling for revolting violence to rain down on Meghan’s head… I’m just not sexist and I abhor violence against women. And yet I seemed to be advocating just that.”
“So can I move on now? Not sure,” Clarkson wrote. “It’s hard to be interesting and vigilant at the same time. You never hear peals of laughter coming from a health and safety seminar. But I promise you this, I will try.”
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