Press regulator Ipso has launched an investigation into Jeremy Clarkson’s column about the Duchess of Sussex.
The watchdog received more than 25,000 complaints about the article published in the Sun Newspaper in December.
Ipso is taking forward complaints from two groups, The Fawcett Society and The Wilde Foundation, which said they were affected by breaches in accuracy, harassment and discrimination.
Clarkson wrote that he “hated [Meghan] on a cellular level” in the column.
The piece became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s most complained-about article and the organisation has begun an investigation after examining the complaints it received.
The Fawcett Society is a gender equality charity while The Wilde Foundation is a charity that helps victims and survivors of abuse.
Clarkson, the former Top Gear presenter, co-hosts the Amazon Prime series The Grand Tour and a documentary series Clarkson’s Farm. He took over hosting the ITV gameshow Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2018.
In the column, Clarkson wrote that he was “dreaming of the day when [Meghan] is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her”.
Clarkson’s comments were widely criticised and his daughter, Emily, said: “I want to make it very clear that I stand against everything my dad wrote about Meghan Markle.”
Clarkson, 62, later apologised and released a statement before Christmas saying he was “horrified” after “causing so much hurt”.
He posted a message to social media, describing a reference he made to a scene in Game of Thrones as “clumsy”.
The Sun also apologised, saying it regretted publishing the column and was “sincerely sorry”.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex criticised the Sun’s apology as “nothing more than a PR stunt”.
A spokesperson for the couple accused the Sun of profiting off and exploiting “hate, violence and misogyny”.
“A true apology would be a shift in their coverage and ethical standards for all,” they said.
Clarkson said he emailed Harry and Meghan on Christmas Day to say his language had been “disgraceful” and he was “profoundly sorry”.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said at the time that the article was not an isolated incident for Clarkson.
Ipso said it will make public the outcome of the investigation when it is concluded.
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