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

Jeremy Clarkson struck and verbally abused Oisin Tymon during filming.

Jeremy Clarkson. Picture: AFP

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

Clarkson, who built a global fan base as presenter of the programme, 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 the BBC.

"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 offence.

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 United States hit comedy Friends, among the new presenting line-up.