LONDON — An investigation into Martin Bashir has uncovered the journalist used “deceitful behavior” to secure the iconic 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
The news comes as an independent report was published on Thursday found Bashir acted inappropriately and breached BBC ethical guidelines to gain access to Diana for that infamous 1995 interview.
The interview was seen by the entire world, including 20 million people in Britain. It shocked the Royals and it would lead to Diana and Prince Charles’ divorce three months after the interview aired, where she revealed Charles was having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Bashir’s interview came under fire when ITV aired a documentary titled The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess,” which claimed Bashir had a graphic designer create fake bank statements, which allegedly used to tell Diana employees were being paid to spy on her.
Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, tweeted he “knew Bashir used fake bank statements and other dishonesty to get my sister to do the interview.”
The report found the journalist did fake the bank statements and used them to gain access to Diana for the interview.
Bashir said in a statement in response to the findings that he apologized for his actions.
“I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview,” he said. “Evidence handed to the inquiry in her own handwriting (and published alongside the report today) unequivocally confirms this, and other compelling evidence presented to Lord Dyson reinforces it. In fact, despite his other findings, Lord Dyson himself in any event accepts that the Princess would probably have agreed to be interviewed without what he describes as my ‘intervention’.”
The report also condemned the BBC for “falling short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark by covering up in its press logs such facts as it had been able to establish about how Mr Bashir secured the interview and failing to mention Mr Bashir’s activities or the BBC investigations of them on any news programme.”
Prince William released a video statement shortly after the news was announced, calling for the BBC’s news program to never air again.
“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” he 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.”