Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have rejected an apology made by TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson over a controversial column he wrote for British tabloid The Sun. In the column, published on December 17, Clarkson said he hated the Duchess of Sussex “on a cellular level,” and wished she met the same fate of Game of Thrones villain Cersei Lannister.
Writing in his original column, Clarkson said: “At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her,” in reference to the Game of Thrones scene.
After being inundated with complaints, The Sun apologized for the column and took it down from its website, upon Clarkson’s request. Faced with the growing backlash, Clarkson, the former presenter of the TV show Top Gear, wrote a lengthy Instagram post, apologizing for his actions.
“One of the strange things I’ve noticed in recent times is that whenever an MP or a well-known person is asked to apologize for something, no matter how heartfelt or profound that apology may be, it’s never enough for the people who called for it in the first place,” he wrote. “So I’m going to try and buck the trend this morning with an apology for the things I said in a Sun column recently about Meghan Markle. I really am sorry.”
Clarkson said he picked up a copy of The Sun and quickly realized he had “completely messed up.” “Usually, I read what I’ve written to someone else before filing, but I was home alone on that fateful day, and in a hurry. So when I’d finished, I just pressed send. And then, when the column appeared the next day, the land mine exploded,” he wrote. “I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It was horrible.”
Clarkson also said he emailed Prince Harry and Meghan on Christmas morning to apologize. But the couple has disputed that this ever happened. In a statement issued after the publication of Clarkson’s Instagram post, their spokesperson said the TV presenter only wrote to Prince Harry, not his wife.
The spokesperson said: “On December 25, 2022, Mr Clarkson wrote solely to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. The contents of his correspondence were marked Private and Confidential. While a new public apology has been issued today 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.”
The controversial column could cost Clarkson many projects. According to Variety, Prime Video will part ways with the presenter after the final commissioned shows of Clarkson’s Farm go to air.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition