Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are reacting to Jeremy Clarkson’s latest public apology.
On Monday, the British television presenter shared a statement expressing remorse for writing a controversial article published by The Sun in December. At the time, the 62-year-old wrote that he hated the Duchess of Sussex “on a cellular level” and dreamed of her being paraded naked through British towns “while the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”
While Clarkson alleged he reached out to the couple on Christmas Day, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex refuted his claim, noting he only reached out to Harry.
“On December 25, 2022, Mr. Clarkson wrote solely to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex,” read a statement sent to Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “The contents of his correspondence were marked Private and Confidential.”
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“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,” the statement shared. “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.”
Clarkson, whose apology was posted on Instagram, wrote: “One of the strange things I’ve noticed in recent times is that whenever an MP or a well-known person is asked to apologise 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.”
Clarkson claimed he felt “sick” to see the “horrible” story in print.
“I’d been thinking of the scene in Game of Thrones, but I’d forgotten to mention this,” Clarkson explained. “So it looked like I was actually calling for revolting violence to rain down on Meghan’s head.”
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Clarkson said he was “mortified” and “angry with myself” following the publication of his piece.
“I’m just not sexist and I abhor violence against women,” he wrote. “And yet I seem to be advocating just that.”
“I therefore wrote to everyone who works with me saying how sorry I was and then on Christmas morning, I e-mailed Harry and Meghan in California to apologise to them too,” he shared. “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.”
“So can I move on now? Not sure,” Clarkson admitted. “It’s hard to be interesting and vigilant at the same time… But I promise you this, I will try.”
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“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,” he shared. “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.”
“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,” Clarkson continued. “So when I’d finished, I just pressed send. And then, when the column appeared the next day, the land mine exploded.”
Clarkson’s original column sparked immediate backlash. According to the Independent Press Standards Organization, it received more than 12,000 complaints, which was close to the total number of complaints it received in all of 2021.
The article was also condemned by public figures, including Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who called it “deeply misogynist and just downright awful and horrible.”
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Clarkson’s daughter, Emily Clarkson, took to Instagram and wrote, “I stand against everything that my dad wrote about Meghan Markle and I remain standing in support of those that are targeted with online hatred.”
When asked about the article, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “for everyone in public life, language matters.” He added, “I absolutely don’t believe that Britain is a racist country.”
Clarkson’s article followed the release of Netflix’s six-part docuseries “Harry & Meghan.” It looked back at the couple’s acrimonious split from the British royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit royal duties and moved to California in 2020. They cited a lack of support from the palace and racist press treatment of the duchess, who is biracial.
Markle, an American actress who starred in the legal drama “Suits,” married the British prince in 2018.
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Following the outcry, Clarkson said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt.” At the time, he said the public shaming image was “a clumsy reference” to a scene in “Game of Thrones.”
“I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future,” he tweeted.
Clarkson made his name as the combative host of the BBC car show “Top Gear.”
The couple’s response to Clarkson’s claims came nearly a week after Harry’s memoir “Spare” was published. While discussing the book with Tom Bradby for an ITV interview, the 38-year-old described how comments like Clarkson’s can lead to dangerous repercussions.
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“When we’re talking about accountability, you know, just recently, which I know you know about, um you know, the Jeremy Clarkson article,” said Harry. “So not only did, what he said was horrific and is hurtful and cruel towards my wife, but it also encourages other people around the U.K. and around the world, men particularly, to go and think that it’s acceptable to treat women that way.”
“You know, to use my stepmother’s words recently as well, there is a global pandemic of violent — violence against women,” Harry shared. The father of two was referring to Camilla, the Queen Consort’s recent speech at a Buckingham Palace reception to raise awareness of violence against women.
“Harry & Meghan” also described how the couple was faced with hate and threats on social media. Markle, 41, described how one alarming tweet read, “Meghan just needs to die. Someone needs to kill her. Maybe it should be me.”
“I’m a mom,” she tearfully said. “It’s my real life.
“You know? And that’s the piece where you see it, and you go: ‘You are making people want to kill me. It’s not just a tabloid. It’s not just some story. You are making me scared.'”
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“And like that night, to be up and down in the middle of the night looking down my hallway like, ‘Are we safe? Are the doors locked? Is security on?’ That’s real! ‘Are my babies safe?'” she shared. “And you created it for what? Because you’re bored or because it sells your papers, or it makes you feel better about your own life? It’s real what you’re doing.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in Montecito, California, with their two children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.