The Sun apologises over Jeremy Clarkson's attack on Meghan Duchess of Sussex

Apology said: 'As a publisher we realise that with free expression comes responsibility'

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The Sun newspaper has apologised for publishing a column by television presenter Jeremy Clarkson about Prince Harry's wife Meghan which has since become the subject of a record number of complaints.

“We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry,” the newspaper said in a statement on Friday.

Clarkson has also separately said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt” following the backlash and that he would “be more careful in future”.

In the column published last week, Clarkson, who gained worldwide fame as presenter of motoring show Top Gear, wrote that he had dreamt of Meghan being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed. “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way,” he wrote.

By Tuesday, Britain's Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) regulator said it had received more than 20,800 complaints, the most about any article since it was established in 2014.

On Friday, the newspaper issued a statement: “In last Saturday's Sun, Jeremy Clarkson wrote a comment article about the Duchess of Sussex. It provoked a strong response and led to a large number of complaints to Ipso, the independent press regulator.

“In a tweet earlier this week, Jeremy said he had made a “clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones”, which had “gone down badly with a great many people” and he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt”. He also said he will be more careful in future.

“Columnists' opinions are their own, but as a publisher we realise that with free expression comes responsibility. We at The Sun regret the publication of this article and we are sincerely sorry.”

The newspaper added that the article had been removed from its archives and website.

The article attracted criticism from high-profile figures, politicians, and Clarkson's daughter, Emily Clarkson.

More than 60 politicians signed a letter written by Caroline Nokes, chairwoman of parliament's Women and Equalities Select Committee, to the editor of The Sun warning such articles contribute to a climate of hatred and violence against women.

The Clarkson piece was written after the broadcast release of Harry and Meghan's six-part Netflix documentary, in which the couple made allegations of mistreatment by the royal family.

In the first three episodes, the duchess accused the British media of wanting to “destroy” her and claim “salacious” stories were planted in the press.

Updated: December 24, 2022, 12:54 PM