Martin Bashir, who famously landed the explosive interview with Princess Diana, is in hot water!
A report released on Thursday found that the 58-year-old journalist had used “deceitful methods” to secure his sit down in 1995 with the late royal, in which she opened up about her eating disorder, failed marriage to Prince Charles, and more. It also where we got the famous line about the Prince of Wales’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles:
“There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
In case you didn’t know, an investigation began last November after Earl Charles Spencer claimed Bashir used fake bank statements to show how senior aides were being paid for secrets about his sibling and persuaded him to introduce the former news anchor to Diana, BBC News reported. Spencer even claimed on Twitter that the BBC was aware of the forgeries, later telling People as well:
“[The BBC] have yet to apologize for what truly matters here: the incredibly serious falsification of bank statements suggesting that Diana’s closest confidants were spying on her for her enemies. This was what led me to talk to Diana about such things. This in turn led to the meeting where I introduced Diana to Bashir, on 19 September 1995. This then led to the interview.”
Following the backlash, the media company announced it would carry out an inquiry into how the writer obtained the tell-all conversation — even though he had been cleared of any wrongdoing back in 1996.
Now the results are in…
The probe, which was carried out by former judge John Dyson, discovered that Bashir had “commissioned” false bank statements made to look they belonged to two members of the royal institution. He then showed Spencer the documents, “which contained information that had probably been fabricated by Mr. Bashir.” According to The Sunday Times, the manufactured papers might have played into Diana’s fears that her conversations were recorded by the employees of the firm. Dyson concluded in the report that:
“By his deceitful behavior, therefore, Mr. Bashir succeeded in engineering the meeting that led to the interview. But it is important to add that Princess Diana would probably have agreed to be interviewed…even without the intervention of Mr. Bashir. It is clear that by early to mid-August 1995 at the latest, she was very keen on the idea…This was some time before Mr. Bashir’s first meeting with Earl Spencer on 31 August 1995.”
The ex-barrister also included a note the philanthropist wrote a month after the interview aired, which read:
“Martin Bashir did not show me any documents nor give me any information that I was not previously aware of. I consented to the interview on Panorama without any undue pressure and have no regrets.”
Hmm… It sounds like Diana didn’t believe she was deceived. Was there more to it than she ever knew?
Following the recent publishing, per Entertainment Tonight, the BBC’s general director Tim Davie issued an apology for how the controversial meeting came to be:
“Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was keen on the idea of an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the process for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect. We are very sorry for this. Lord Dyson has identified clear failings.”
“While today’s BBC has significantly better processes and procedures, those that existed at the time should have prevented the interview being secured in this way. The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew. While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC offers that today.”
The BBC will also return the BAFTA award they won for the interview.
Meanwhile, Bashir has expressed regret for fabricating the statements in his own apology. However, he claimed the fake documents “had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview.”
Hmm… Yeah, that still does not absolve you of unethical practices, sir!
And while Spencer has not commented on the results, he did share a never-before-seen childhood pic of himself with Diana on social media. Take a look (below):
As of right now, Bashir actually left his position as BBC’s Religion Editor last week due to ongoing health issues. Though, you have to wonder if he wanted to get out before all of this chaos?
Okay, Perezcious readers, what are your reactions to Martin reportedly tricking Diana into the interview? Sound OFF in the comments (below).
[Image via ITN/WENN & Ivan Nikolov/WENN]