The Duke of Sussex has said Jeremy Clarkson’s “cruel” article in the Sun newspaper about his wife Meghan encourages people around the world to believe it is an acceptable way to treat women.
During an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby ahead of the publication of his controversial autobiography Spare, Harry spoke about the accountability of the British media.
He referred to comments made by former Top Gear presenter Clarkson, 62, who wrote that he “hated” the Duchess of Sussex and dreamed of her being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed.
Harry said: “When we’re talking about accountability… the Jeremy Clarkson article, so not only did what he said was horrific and is hurtful and cruel towards my wife, but it also encourages other people around the UK and around the world, men particularly, to go and think that it’s acceptable to treat women that way.
“To use my stepmother’s words recently as well, there is a global pandemic of violent – violence against women.
“It’s no longer a case of me asking for accountability, but at this point the world is asking for accountability, and the world is asking for some form of comment from the monarchy but the silence is deafening.”
The Sun apologised after the piece – in which Clarkson said “everyone who’s my age thinks the same way” – became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s most complained-about article.
During the ITV interview, Harry said he felt a responsibility to change the media before referencing Caroline Flack, who took her own life at the age of 40 in February 2020.
A coroner ruled that Flack took her own life after learning prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge over an incident involving her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, and could not face the press coverage.
Harry, who claimed he was not at war with the media, said about the press: “I made peace with it, I was willing to let a lot of it go back in 2020 when we left the country.
“And if living in a new country, minding our own business during lockdown, not saying anything, not doing anything that would affect the British media at all, that every single day there’s an attack, well then, the assumption of it going away or moving on isn’t the case.
“So I feel as though there is a responsibility to see this through because I think the benefits to a lot of people will be felt. You know I talk about Caroline Flack in the book as well.”
Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz is also referenced in the headline-hitting interview which aired on Sunday evening.
Bradby said: “Let’s tackle the press, I just wanna concede a couple of things so we don’t have to talk about them because it’s very clear in the book, paparazzi horrific around your mother, still very horrible today, totally get that.
“I think everyone watching this will get that, press doesn’t always tell the truth about you, putting that mildly, and you’re quite funny about that in the book, this relationship to you, there’s your relationship with Cameron Diaz who you never met and there’s some lighter moments in the discussion of the press.”
Harry said his family tried to control the British press “for years” but added it was something they did not want to change because it “benefits them”.
Harry: The Interview is available to view on ITVX.