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Martin Bashir apologises to William and Harry for ‘deceiving’ Diana

Photo: BBC


Martin Bashir apologises to William and Harry for ‘deceiving’ Diana


Martin Bashir has apologized to Princes William and Harry, but insists that he “loved” their mother and that his infamous television interview with her was not damaging.

The former BBC journalist expressed his regret to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, but described the new controversy around his 1995 meeting with the Princess of Wales as “unreasonable and unfair.”

Martin told the Sunday Times, speaking for the first time since the scathing investigation into the circumstances around the interview became public: “I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did.”

“Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents … My family and I loved her.”


“I can’t imagine what their family must feel each day, although I know a little of that myself having lost a brother and father prematurely.”


He said Diana was never upset with the interview’s content and that they remained friends after it aired, with Diana also paying a visit to his wife Deborah at St George’s hospital in Tooting, south London, on the day she gave birth to the couple’s third child, Eliza.

Bashir’s behaviour and the interview, according to William, played a “a major contribution” in the breakdown of his parents’ marriage and “contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation” in her final years.

However, Bashir told the newspaper that he disagreed with William’s claim that he contributed to her isolation and paranoia.

“There were stories and secretly recorded phone calls even in the early 1990s,” he said. “I wasn’t the source of any of that.”

Lord Dyson’s official investigation, published Thursday, slammed Bashir, alleging that he duped Diana into giving the interview by forging documents, including mocked-up bank statements purporting to show palace workers being paid for reports about her.

The study even criticized BBC executives, including former BBC director-general Lord Hall, for trying to cover the scandal.

The former Religion Editor at the BBC, who left his job over ill health last week, was most critical of Earl Spencer ‘drawing a line’ between the Panorama interview and his sister’s death – claiming it led her to get rid of her royal security detail.

‘I don’t feel I can be held responsible for many of the other things that were going on in her life, and the complex issues surrounding those decisions,’ Mr Bashir said.

‘I can understand the motivation [of Earl Spencer’s comments] but to channel the tragedy, the difficult relationship between the royal family and the media purely on to my shoulders feels a little unreasonable … The suggestion I am singularly responsible I think is unreasonable and unfair .’

Mr Bashir used false documentation that indicated people close to Diana were paid by the press to procure the interview, according to the inquiry led by Lord Dyson.

He acknowledged that fabricating papers to show her brother in order to win the interview was “wrong”.


‘Obviously I regret it, it was wrong. But it had no bearing on anything. It had no bearing on [Diana], it had no bearing on the interview.’

He now worries that the recent controversy will overshadow the interview’s material.

‘She was a pioneering princess. When you think about her expressions of grief in her marriage, when you think about the admission of psychiatric illness – just extraordinary! And her sons have gone on to champion mental health .

‘I don’t understand what the purpose of this is ultimately? OK, maybe you want to destroy me, but outside of this, what’s the point?

‘I did something wrong . . . but for pity’s sake, acknowledge something of the relationship we had and something of what she contributed through that interview.

“The findings are extremely concerning,” Prince William said of the report.

“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.

“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse. And has since hurt countless others.

“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.

“But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived.

“She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”

Harry also hit out at the BBC, saying: “Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest.”

“That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse- are still widespread today.

“Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.

“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life.

“Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”

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