LONDON (Dispatches) – Martin Bashir, the BBC journalist who tricked princess Diana into giving an explosive interview, on Sunday apologized to Princes William and Harry.
A report by retired senior judge John Dyson published on Thursday found that Bashir commissioned faked bank statements that falsely suggested some of Diana’s closest aides were being paid by the security services to keep tabs on her.
Bashir, 58, then showed them to Diana’s brother Charles Spencer in a successful bid to convince him to arrange a meeting between himself and Diana and earn her trust.
Bashir told the Sunday Times he was “deeply sorry” to Diana’s sons Prince William and Prince Harry.
“I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did,” he told the paper.
But William said Bashir’s actions and the interview had made “a major contribution” to the demise of his parents’ relationship and “contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation” in her final years.
In his own release, Harry said that the deceptive practices had played a part in his mother’s death.
“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life,” he said.
Diana died in a Paris car crash in 1997, aged 36.
As the scandal over Martin Bashir’s infamous interview with the late Princess Diana deepens, the BBC’s former Director-General, Lord Tony Hall has been forced to resign his position as National Gallery chairman.
Lord Hall was director of news at the state broadcaster (BBC) during Bashir’s notorious Panorama interview with Princess Diana in November 1995.
An independent inquiry by former senior judge, Lord John Dyson, described the original internal probe into the interview led by Lord Hall in 1996 as “woefully ineffective”.
Following the inquiry’s damning determination Lord hall said his continued presence in his role at the National Gallery would be a “distraction”.
More broadly, the inquiry found Bashir was “unreliable and dishonest”, and more importantly the state broadcaster had fallen “short” of putatively “high standards” when answering probing questions about the infamous interview.
Earlier this month the BBC “postponed” a Panorama investigation into the original Panorama interview citing a “significant duty of care issue”.
For his part, Earl Spencer has reportedly written to the Metropolitan Police asking the force to investigate the BBC over Bashir’s elaborate deception which in his view constitutes blackmail and fraud.
Bashir left the BBC earlier this week citing “ongoing health issues”.