February 24, 2016 / 12:40 PM / 3 years ago

Ex-'Top Gear' host Clarkson settles lawsuit with producer he hit

LONDON (Reuters) - Jeremy Clarkson, the former host of the BBC’s hugely popular “Top Gear” motoring show, apologized and settled a lawsuit on Wednesday with the member of the production team he physically attacked in an incident which cost him his job.

Tennis - Aegon Championships - Queens Club, London - 17/6/15 TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson in the stands Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic

Clarkson, who built a global fan base as presenter of the program, struck and verbally abused Oisin Tymon during filming, leading the BBC to announce last March it would not be renewing his contract.

The outspoken presenter, a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron, has now agreed to pay Tymon damages to settle a racial discrimination and injury claim, a sum amounting to more than 100,000 pounds according to BBC News.

“I would like to say sorry, once again, to Oisin Tymon for the incident and its regrettable aftermath,” Clarkson said in a statement issued through Tymon’s lawyers.

“I want to reiterate that none of this was in any way his fault. I would also like to make it clear that the abuse he has suffered since the incident is unwarranted and I am sorry too that he has had to go through that.”

Lawyers for Tymon, who was left bleeding and in need of hospital treatment after the fracas with Clarkson, said the case was settled and the producer wanted to focus on his BBC work.

“Oisin is keen to put the matter behind him now that it has been brought to a close,” his lawyer Paul Daniels said.

Clarkson became the popular face of “Top Gear”, aired in 200 countries, by mixing a passion for cars with blunt banter and swagger that often generated controversy and caused offense.

He had been on a final warning from the BBC over accusations he had used racist language while filming the show when the incident with Tymon occurred.

Clarkson has since signed an exclusive deal to present a new motoring show for Amazon’s subscription service alongside his former “Top Gear” co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May.

“Top Gear” will continue fronted by British radio and TV presenter Chris Evans with Matt LeBlanc, former star of 1990s U.S. hit comedy “Friends”, among the new presenting line-up.

“We are pleased that matters have now been resolved,” said the BBC in a statement. “Oisin is a valued member of the BBC who behaved with huge integrity in dealing with the very difficult circumstances last year.”

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Toby Chopra and Guy Faulconbridge

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