Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s biographer Omid Scobie revealed that Telegraph columnist Julie Burchill had been ‘fired’ hours after highlighting a ‘racist’ tweet from the journalist about the couple’s new baby to her boss.
Miss Burchill, 61, was criticized for a comment on Twitter in which she described the naming of the baby, Lilibet Diana – a tribute to both the Queen and the mother of the Duke of Sussex – as a ‘missed opportunity’.
The columnist said on Sunday: ‘They could have called it Georgina Floydina’ – a reference to George Floyd, whose murder by US police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020 sparked global Black Lives Matter protests against racism.
But the next day, Mr. Scobie — the royal editor at Harper’s Bazaar and a friend of Harry and Meghan’s co-writing their Finding Freedom biography — highlighted Miss Burchill’s comments to his 69,000 followers.
Commenting on the newspaper columnist’s post, Mr Scobie said at about 1.30pm Monday: ‘The fact that credible outlets still employ this individual speaks volumes about the state of our media landscape.
At 5 p.m., he posted an image showing that her account – under the name @boozeandfagz – no longer existed, saying: “Twitter wasn’t wasting any time. Would love to hear your thoughts on this, @chrisevans1 @Telegraph.’
Julie Burchill (left) was criticized by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s biographer Omid Scobie (right) for a comment on Twitter
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, pictured with Archie at Windsor Castle in May 2019, now have second child, Lilibet Diana
Chris Evans is the editor of the Telegraph. Miss Burchill said on Facebook yesterday at 1pm: ‘I have been fired by the Telegraph – it has been a wonderful five years and I will always be grateful to them for ending my wilderness years.
“However, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t complained to my husband a lot lately that they always turned down my edgy column ideas and gave me more foot traffic—which I did excellently anyway.”
Five hours later, at 6pm, Mr Scobie wrote: ‘A spokesperson for The Telegraph confirms that Julie Burchill is no longer working for the newspaper. A source confirms she was fired after her racist tweets about the Sussex’s second child (and refusal to apologize to them).
A source at the Telegraph said it was wrong to say that Miss Burchill had been fired because she was not a staff member and had no freelance contract. They added that she was a “contributor” and it would be wrong to “infer” that she would no longer be used in this capacity.
A source also told MailOnline that the Telegraph has not been contacted by Harry, Meghan or any representative for them about Miss Burchill – nor was the newspaper aware of Scobie’s tweets before making a decision on Miss Burchill.
Attorney Joanna Toch Was Suspended From Her Law Practice After Proposing To Name The Girl ‘Doprah’
MailOnline has asked the Telegraph whether Mr Scobie’s tweets played a role in Miss Burchill’s release.
Julie Burchill: Wild 80s kid who made a name for himself on NME at age 17 and drank cocaine for 30 years
Julie Burchill in London in 1989
Julie Burchill was born in Bristol in 1959 to a communist union activist who worked in a distillery and a mother who worked in a cardboard box factory.
The 61-year-old started her media career writing in the New Musical Express as a 17-year-old and later worked for the Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday and Vanity Fair.
Miss Burchill, who is said to have become the highest paid writer in British journalist history at her peak, was briefly married to NME colleague Tony Parsons with whom she had a son.
But at the age of 25, she left him and married another journalist, Cosmo Landesman, with whom she also had a son. She also had relationships with the writer Charlotte Raven and her younger brother Daniel Raven.
Known as the ‘Queen of the Groucho Club’ in the 1980s, she gained a reputation for wild partying, binge drinking and drug use, revealing last year that she eventually quit a 30-year cocaine addiction.
In March, she admitted she “deeply regrets” waging a campaign of abuse against Muslim journalist Ash Sarkar and that she “should have behaved better”.
She agreed to pay substantial damages to Ms Sarkar after she admitted to making defamatory comments about her, including that she “worshipped a pedophile” and was an Islamist and a hypocrite.
Last year, Ms Burchill was at the center of controversy over comments she made to a Muslim journalist about the Prophet Muhammad.
She apologized “without reservation” and agreed to pay substantial damages to Ash Sarkar, a journalist at Novara Media.
Following the Lilibet row, a top lawyer was suspended over a “racist” tweet posted in response to Ms Burchill’s original comment.
Referring to Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, Joanna Toch, 59, wrote: ‘No Doria? Don’t black names matter?’
Miss Burchill wrote back: ‘I was hoping for Doria Oprah, the racist rotters’ – a reference to chat show star Miss Winfrey, who had presented Harry and Meghan’s infamous interview in March. The family lawyer then replied, “Doprah?”
After a furious response online, Ms Toch apologized “without reservation” and said she had “colored children” of her own.
Before deleting her Twitter account, Miss Toch – a former British Olympic rower – wrote: “I am very sorry for the comment and what I saw as a joke. I have fought against racism in my professional life and that is abhorrent.’
But her company Family Law Cafe then said it had suspended her “pending an internal review” in the comments.
Miss Burchill had sparked controversy late last year after telling Ms Sarkar that her imitation of the prophet Mohammed was the “worship of a pedophile.”
She then apologized “without reservation and unconditionally,” revealing in a statement posted on Twitter that she had agreed to pay Ms Sarkar “significant damages” for the “emergency” caused by the altercation last December.
The spat began when Ms. Burchill defended journalist Rod Liddle after Ms Sarkar lashed out at a 2012 Spectator article in which Mr Liddle said he didn’t become a teacher because he wanted to sleep with students.
Miss Burchill then claimed that Mrs Sarkar’s reverence for the Prophet was the “worship of a pedophile,” referring to the 7th-century leader’s marriage to his third wife when she was about 10, and that she was an “Islamist” and ‘hypocritical’ was .
Miss Burchill also “found” reports that Ms Sarkar should commit suicide and even suggested she was a victim of female genital mutilation.
Ms Sarkar filed defamation complaints, claiming they played in “harmful tropics of anti-Muslim hatred.”
In a statement in March this year, Ms. Burchill said she accepted that her statements were “defamatory to Ms Sarkar and caused her great distress” and agreed not to contact her directly, except for legal reasons.