‘Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it’
Jeremy Clarkson has said he is “horrified to have caused so much hurt” with a column he wrote in the Sun about Meghan Markle.
The broadcaster wrote on Friday that he hated the Duchess of Sussex on a “cellular level”. The column sparked more than 6,000 complaints to the press regulator and even prompted Clarkson’s daughter to speak out against it.
In a tweet, Monday, Clarkson wrote: “Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it.”
He described a reference he made to a scene in Game of Thrones as “clumsy” and admitted it had “gone down badly with a great many people”.
He added: “I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”
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.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) December 19, 2022
Ipso, the independent press standards organisation, told BBC News the complaints were being assessed in accordance with its standard procedure.
Clarkson’s comments were widely criticised on social media over the weekend, including by his daughter, Emily, who said: “I stand against everything my dad wrote about Meghan Markle.”
In his column, Clarkson wrote: “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. “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way,” he added.
“But what makes me despair is that younger people, especially girls, think she’s pretty cool. They think she was a prisoner of Buckingham Palace, forced to talk about nothing but embroidery and kittens.”
His column followed the release of the last three episodes of Netflix’s docuseries Harry & Meghan on Thursday.
Clarkson, in his column, also compared his hatred of Meghan with that of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
He wrote: “Meghan, though, is a different story. I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.”
West is a serial killer who, along with her husband Fred, murdered at least 12 young girls over 20 years.
Sturgeon told BBC Scotland: “The overwhelming emotion I have for men like Jeremy Clarkson is pity. “I can’t imagine what it must be like to be so consumed and distorted by hate of other people, and in his case it appears women in particular, that you end up writing that toxic, vile abuse.”
She added: “Freedom of speech is really important and one of the values all of us cherish. But all of us, as we exercise those important rights, have to behave with a degree of responsibility.”
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