Dark truth behind iconic Diana moment
The BBC is now looking into the tactics that led to one of Princess Diana's most tragic utterances regarding her failed marriage to Prince Charles: "There were three of us in this marriage."
The explosive interview between Diana and journalist Martin Bashir aired in 1995, but 25 years later, new evidence suggests the reporter may have used forged bank statements and other unethical methods to convince Diana to take part in the interview, Deadline reports.
Now, the situation is being properly investigated - however, it's complicated by the fact that Bashir, now 57 and a religion editor for BBC News, is gravely ill with COVID-19.
Over the weekend, the BBC apologised to Princess Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, after he brought forward the evidence. (Diana died in 1997 from injuries sustained in a car crash.)
The network admitted that Bashir showed Spencer bank statements doctored by a staff graphic designer. Spencer had alleged that Bashir told his sister "fantastical stories to win her trust" and showed him fake bank records that reportedly helped land Bashir the interview.
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Spencer also said he found a letter sent to him by Bashir that brought up rumours of an affair between Charles and the family's nanny.
At the time, the princess was apparently deeply worried she was being spied on and that her staff was leaking information about her. Bashir's "evidence" allegedly made her confident to do the interview, one year after she and Charles had split.
"There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," Diana said in the interview, referring to Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Weeks after the piece aired, the royals began divorce proceedings.
"Suggesting that mocked-up documents were genuine was wrong then and it's wrong now; the BBC of today is happy to apologise for this. The BBC's editorial processes are now even tougher and this would not happen today," said a statement from a BBC spokesperson sent to the New York Post. "The BBC's records say that the Princess of Wales said she hadn't seen the mocked-up documents and they had played no part in her decision to take part in the interview."
Now, the BBC says it will investigate the evidence.
"The BBC has apologised. We are happy to repeat that apology. And while this was a quarter of a century ago, we absolutely will investigate - robustly and fairly - substantive new information," a spokeswoman told Deadline. "We have asked Earl Spencer to share further information with the BBC.
"Unfortunately, we are hampered at the moment by the simple fact that we are unable to discuss any of this with Martin Bashir, as he is seriously unwell. When he is well, we will of course hold an investigation into these new issues."
This article originally appeared on Page Six and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Dark truth behind iconic Diana moment