The TV star said he emailed the couple on Christmas Day to say his language in the column had been “disgraceful”, ITV News' Rachel Younger reports
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have accused Jeremy Clarkson of writing articles "in hate" as they responded to the TV presenter's apology over comments he made about Meghan in a newspaper column.
Mr Clarkson revealed he had apologised to Harry and Meghan on Christmas Day over his "disgraceful" comments in The Sun where he had claimed he "hated" the duchess.
In a lengthy statement on his verified Instagram account, the TV star said he emailed the couple to say his language in the column had been “disgraceful” and he was “profoundly sorry”.
Responding to his apology, a statement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared to dismiss his apology, calling his recent comments part of a "long-standing pattern".
In a statement, the couple's 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."
Mr Clarkson had written in an Instagram post: “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. 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.
"So when I’d finished, I just pressed send. And then, when the column appeared the next day, the land mine exploded.”
Mr Clarkson’s statement 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.
"I was very angry with myself because in all those controversial days on Top Gear, when I was accused of all sorts of things, it was very rarely sexism.
“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.”
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The Sun later apologised for Mr Clarkson's comments and said it regretted the publication of the column which last week surpassed more than 25,000 Ipso complaints.
Speaking at an event in December, shortly after the column was published, ITV's Media and Entertainment boss Kevin Lygo said Mr Clarkson’s comments about the Duchess of Sussex were "awful," but added the broadcaster plans to keep him on as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host "at the moment". Harry branded the article about his wife "horrific, hurtful and cruel" during an interview with ITV's Tom Bradby to discuss his autobiography Spare, adding that what Clarkson had written would encourage people around the world to believe it is an acceptable way to treat women.