‘I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It was horrible’
Jeremy Clarkson has posted a lengthy apology to Meghan Markle over his comments in a column for The Sun in which he said he hated the Duchess of Sussex on a “cellular level.”
In a lengthy statement posted on his Instagram account on Monday, the presenter said he emailed Meghan and her husband Prince Harry on Christmas Day to apologise for his language in the column, which he described as “disgraceful.”
He said he was “profoundly sorry”, and that he had written the piece “in a hurry” and just “pressed send.”
He said: “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.
“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. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head. This is me putting my hands up. Its 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. So when I’d finished, I just pressed send. And then, when the column appeared the next day, the land mine exploded.”
Speaking about the day after the column was published, Clarkson continued: “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.”
He went on to say he was “very angry with myself” because despite all of the Top Gear controversies over the years, they had never been accused of sexism and prided themselves on this.
He continued: “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.”
The column sparked a huge backlash at the time. Celebrities such as Carol Vorderman and John Bishop condemned Clarkson’s words, and the piece became the most complained about column ever, with the Sun eventually removing it and apologising.