Omid Scobie today finally appeared to admit for the first time that he did write the names of the so-called ‘royal racists’ in an ‘early’ version of Endgame.
Writing for the i newspaper, the Sussexes’ favoured royal reporter again blamed a Dutch publisher for the scandal that has led to Buckingham Palace considering legal action.
But he did admit that translators in the Netherlands were sent an ‘early’ manuscript that was never updated with the final version pored over by lawyers. This week he also said Endgame was written at ‘lightning speed’.
The Dutch translation of the book has been pulled after it named Charles and Kate as the royals alleged to have asked what colour Prince Archie’s skin might be.
Mr Scobie said: ‘Unbeknownst to me at the time, early and uncleared text was provided to the Dutch publisher in order for them to start work on the translation, with the understanding that their translation would be updated to reflect the final version of the book I officially submitted’.
He added: ‘To be clear, the only publisher I worked directly with was the one covering the US and UK. I spent almost two months with independent British barristers and in-house legal counsel to ensure that every detail in the finished book was legally watertight’.
Mid Scobie today revealed the names of the royals in the Dutch version of Endgame were in an ‘early’ version of his book
The Dutch version of Endgame, which has had to be pulled from bookshops and pulped
The names of King Charles and the Princess of Wales only appeared in the Dutch version, with Mr Scobie swearing on his own life – and his family’s – that it was not a publicity stunt to sell more books.
The author has been described as Meghan’s mouthpiece – but neither she nor Harry has so far spoken up in defence of the royals over highly damaging accusations of racism.
In today’s column, entitled ‘Endgame backlash shows how unwilling we are to confront racism’, Mr Scobie also called on King Charles to use his reign to confront the Royal Family’s links to slavery.
He said: ‘Shooing away opportunities to meaningfully explore the royal institution’s historic links to slavery (and the impact its legacy has had on the country), or have serious conversations around the royal institution’s failure to protect its only family member of colour, sends a clear message that the issues just don’t matter’.
He added: ‘Rather than properly address everything as part of a genuine attempt to modernise and better reflect the diverse country they serve, the Royal Family continue to sweep the issues, and more, under the rug’.
Scobie’s controversial new book sold just under 6,500 copies in Britain.
Endgame, a follow-up to Scobie’s 2020 book Finding Freedom, dropped to 215th on the Amazon bestseller list after just a week on the shelves.
It was widely pilloried even by normally sympathetic media outlets like the New York Times, which described one chapter as ‘like a press release cooked up by ChatGPT’.
Most reaction to the book has focused on its Dutch language edition, which included the names of two family members accused by the Duchess of Sussex of ‘unconscious bias’.
The original ‘racism’ claim was made in the Sussexes’ infamous March 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview (pictured)
The book claimed Meghan had named the King as well as daughter-in-law Kate in letters she wrote to him on the issue.
Yet even this controversy has done little to boost its success, with Nielsen putting British sales figures for the first five days at 6,448.
By contrast, Scobie’s first book on the Sussexes, Finding Freedom, sold 31,000 in its first five days while Harry’s autobiography Spare sold 467,183 – making it the fastest selling non-fiction book since records began in 1998.
The book is now in the table behind activity book Things To Do While You Poo On The Loo and children’s titles such as Dormouse Has a Cold, the Beano annual, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Stick Man.
Charles is expected to consult Prince William this week to discuss their response to the storm after Buckingham Palace said it is ‘considering all options’ when it comes to a response.
Neither Harry nor Meghan have commented publicly on the race row but a source close to the Duchess said ‘it was not leaked to Mr Scobie by anyone in her camp’.