'Top Gear' Host Jeremy Clarkson Sorry for Mumbled N-word in Clip

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Friday, 02 May 2014 11:49 AM

By Ken Mandel

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"Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson has been embroiled in controversy after a video of him mumbling the n-word was released by The Mirror on Thursday. He issued an apology the same day.

The footage, two years old, depicts the British "Top Gear" host reciting the popular rhyme, "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe..." to choose between two cars. He then mumbles what sounds like the offensive racial slur — "Catch a [unintelligible word] by his toe."

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Late Thursday, Clarkson posted a 98-second video on Twitter apologizing for his actions.

"Ordinarily, I don't respond to newspaper allegations, but on this occasion, I feel I must make an exception," he said.

He noted that he is aware of the word's origins in the popular children's counting rhyme, along with "tiger," "piggy," "chicken," "baby" and "teacher," among others.

"When I viewed this footage several weeks later, I realized that one of the mumbled versions, if you listen very carefully with the sound turned right up, it did appear I actually used the word I was trying to obscure, he said.

"I was mortified by this, horrified. It is a word I loathe," he added "And I did everything in my power to make sure that that version did not appear in the program that was transmitted."

Clarkson, 54, read the note he sent the production team at the time, in which he asked for a new take of the clip because it sounded like he said the slur.

He closed the video by asking viewers for their forgiveness.

"Please be assured that I did everything in my power to not use that word," he said. "And as I'm sitting here begging for your forgiveness for the fact that obviously my efforts weren't quite good enough. Thank you."

Prior to asking for forgiveness, Clarkson defended himself against The Mirror's claims that he had used the slur at all.

Clarkson's co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, defended him on Twitter.

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Clarkson's situation comes at the heels of a scandal involving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling was suspended for life from the NBA, fined $2.5 million and ordered to sell the Clippers after a damning video of him surfaced of him making racist remarks about African-Americans to his former girlfriend.

Earlier this month, Indian-born actress Somi Guha sought an apology and legal action against Clarkson for his use of a racial slur toward Asian people. Guha said that Clarkson's use of the word "slope," violated the Equality Act 2010.

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