Interview with Lady Di in 1995: BBC journalist accused of TRUMPERY apologizes
More than 25 years after an explosive interview with Lady Di for the British monarchy, an independent report denounced on Thursday the deceptive methods used by this journalist to obtain it, leading the BBC to apologize.
Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, had claimed that Martin Bashir had shown him bank statements - which turned out to be false - proving that the security services were paying two people at court to spy on his sister. This, he said, was the reason for introducing the journalist to Lady Di.
Mr. Bashir, interviewed by the Sunday Times, said he was deeply sorry for the princess's sons, Harry and William. I never meant to harm Diana in any way, and I don't think we did, he told the newspaper.
According to William, the interview had contributed to the further deterioration of the relationship between his parents and fed the fears, paranoia and loneliness of the last years of Diana's life.
Harry went so far as to link his mother's death to the ripple effect of this exploitative culture and unethical practices.
Diana died in a car accident in Paris in 1997, at the age of 36.
I don't think I can be held responsible for many of the things that were going on in his life and the complex issues surrounding those decisions, Bashir said. I think to suggest that I am individually responsible is unreasonable and unfair.
The 1995 interview, watched by nearly 23 million viewers in the U.K. alone, was conducted on Diana's terms, he said, and the two remained very good friends afterwards.
Three people in marriage
My family and I adored him, he continued, revealing that Diana had visited his wife and their newborn child in the hospital and that the princess had thrown a birthday party for one of her children at Kensington Palace.
He said he regretted the false statements but stressed that they had nothing to do with the revelations made during the interview.
Diana had said that there were three people in her marriage - in reference to the relationship that Charles had with Camilla Parker Bowles - and admitted to having an affair herself.
Mr. Bashir was not well known at the time but went on to have a successful career interviewing Michael Jackson.
The late pop star had complained to the British broadcasting regulator, accusing Martin Bashir of misrepresenting his behavior and conduct as a father.
The journalist then worked for the BBC as a religion correspondent until he resigned last week for health reasons, shortly before the Dyson report was released.