Watch: Piers Morgan condemns Duchess of Sussex comments to Oprah as ‘contemptible’
The 55-year-old presenter and former tabloid editor has left ITV's Good Morning Britain after Ofcom launched an investigation into remarks he made about the Duchess of Sussex on Monday's show that sparked more than 41,000 complaints.
Morgan has now spoken for the first time since his departure was announced, in an interview with Sky News.
He called his departure from the programme “amicable”, saying: “I had a good chat with ITV and we agreed to disagree.”
Morgan added: “I’m just going to take it easy and see how we go.
“I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in the right to be allowed to have an opinion. If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that’s entirely their right.
“I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible.
“If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out with in that interview, so be it.”
The TV presenter also insisted: “If people think it’s over for me, it’s not, I’ll be back.”
Morgan also released a statement on Twitter saying he still does not believe claims made by Meghan about her mental health in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions. pic.twitter.com/bv6zpz4Roe
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021
He wrote: "On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions."
He also shared a photograph of Sir Winston Churchill and a quote that read: "Some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage."
ITV announced Morgan's departure on Tuesday evening, saying: "Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain.
"ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add."
Watch: Piers Morgan storms out of Good Morning Britain studio
Beresford said: "I understand that you've got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one, and she cut you off. She's entitled to cut you off. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don't think she has. But yet you continue to trash her."
Morgan got up from his seat at the GMB desk and began to walk out, saying: "OK, I'm done with this. Sorry. See you later. Can't do this."
Read more: Alex Beresford responds to Piers Morgan row
In Prince Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview, which first aired in the US on Sunday night, Meghan said she had approached people in the Royal “institution” for help after she had suicidal thoughts, but was turned down.
Morgan said on Monday's show: “Who did you go to? What did they say to you? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report."
An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain under our harm and offence rules.”
Ofcom had received 41,015 complaints about Morgan’s comments by 2pm on Tuesday.
Morgan began co-hosting GMB with Susanna Reid in 2015 following the axing of his CNN news show Piers Morgan Live in the US in 2014 due to poor ratings.
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Watch: Why UK TV Host Piers Morgan Left Good Morning Britain