Confirmed evidence surrounding the 1995 bombshell interview that rocked the world between Princess Diana and then BBC journalist, Martin Bashir, has been released.
A recently published report has shamed Bashir’s means of obtaining an interview with the beloved royal as “deceitful,” and criticised the BBC for letting this fall through the cracks all those years ago.
The 1995 interview.
Bashir, who was a relatively junior BBC journalist at the time, who had no known royal connections, as the BBC has admitted, shocked people when he secured the interview in the first place.
Furthermore, it was no ordinary interview, but one where Princess Diana spoke candidly to the Panorama programme.
The nature of the interview.
Questions had been asked for years regarding how Diana was persuaded to talk in the way that she did. Falsified documents and bank statements were shown to Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, by Bashir in a ploy to play on her paranoia.
Bashir used the documents to manipulate the Princess into believing that her closest aides were working with the secret service to keep tabs on her.
Following decades of suspicion, criticism and public backlash, the truth has finally been published.
Lord Dyson’s report.
On November 18 2020, the BBC board appointed Lord Dyson to lead an investigation surrounding the circumstances of the interview. These findings were published on Thursday.
The investigation confirmed that the documents and bank statements used were in fact falsified. These were created by a graphic designer who also worked for the BBC (but allegedly did not know what they would be used for).
Matt Wiessler, the graphic designer, warned the BBC about the documents during the initial heat of the controversy. Now, he has asked for a personal apology from figures such as Lord Hall who led a “flawed internal inquiry” into the incident at the time.
In addition, senior powers at the BBC failed to investigate the initial allegations.
The report concluded that Bashir utilised deceitful behaviour in a “serious breach” of BBC editorial rules, as per Lord Dyson.
The report said that “without justification, the BBC fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark.”
The BBC has offered an unconditional apology.
The BBC has issued an “unconditional apology” as a result, reports EWN. They have written to apologise to Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as the Prince of Wales and Diana’s brother.
Prince William, Harry and Earl Charles Spencer respond.
However, Prince William issued a very powerful video statement, calling the way in which the interview was obtained not only “deceitful” but also a “contribution to making [his] parents relationship worse, and has since hurt countless others.”
He went on to say that “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.”
A statement on today’s report of The Dyson Investigation pic.twitter.com/uS62CNwiI8
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 20, 2021
Prince Harry said in a separate statement that the “ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices” ultimately took his mother’s life.
Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer went on to thank those who worked tirelessly to bring the truth to light.
I’d like to thank the TV journalist Andy Webb for his tireless professionalism in bringing the Bashir-Panorama-BBC scandal to light. If he hadn’t have pursued this story for well over a decade, and shared his findings with me last October, today’s findings wouldn’t have surfaced.
— Charles Spencer (@cspencer1508) May 20, 2021