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The princess’s brother, Earl Spencer, has linked his sister’s death to the BBC and the crisis of trust that engulfed her after Bashir cheated on her.
Her devastating verdict came when a judge ruled that the embarrassed reporter misled the princess with an elaborate fiction that painted some of those closest to her as traitors.
The ‘rogue reporter’ commissioned fake bank statements to secure her interview with Princess Diana, but covered up her ‘deceptive behavior’ in a ‘shocking stain’ in the nearly 100-year history of the BBC.
Her lies earned the Panorama reporter the interview of the century and multiple awards, but he hastened the end of Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles and saw her stripped of her HRH status from her just two years before the death of her.
Today, it can be revealed that the Duke of Cambridge and the California-based Duke of Sussex have received letters of apology from the BBC for Bashir’s conduct and the subsequent cover-up now completely uncovered 25 years later.
Buckingham Palace and Prince Charles’ official residence, Clarence House, have also had correspondence.
Earl Spencer appeared tonight in another Panorama special, entitled: ‘Princess Diana, Martin Bashir and the BBC’, which was intended to expose the full scope of the Bashir scandal.
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In it, he says: ‘The irony is that I met Martin Bashir on August 31, 1995, because exactly two years later she died. And I draw a line between the two events.
“ From the presentation it is quite clear that on September 19, 1995 I attended all those who were going to be untrustworthy, and I think Diana lost confidence in really key people.
‘This is a young woman in her 30s who has lived through this extraordinarily turbulent and difficult time in the public eye.
She “She didn’t know who to trust and in the end, when she died two years later, she didn’t have any real protection.”
Earl Spencer said that ‘rogue reporter’ Bashir’s strategy to get close to his sister was to make ‘everyone untrustworthy’.
He said the journalist was “very good at amplifying people’s anxieties” and suggesting that he would “save you in a difficult and dangerous world.”
The BBC is also returning all the prizes the explosive interview racked up, including a Bafta TV gong won in 1996.
But while the net worth of some of the Spencer family’s most prominent members is unknown, the 9th Earl Spencer, Charles Spencer’s (Kitty Spencer’s father and Princess Diana’s brother) net worth is estimated at around $154 million.
Who is Patrick Jephson, the Princess of Wales’ private secretary at the time.
She told Panorama that Diana was ‘thrown adrift’ from her ‘royal support structure that had guided and protected her for so many years’ due to Bashir’s claims.
Jephson added: “Inevitably, she made her vulnerable to people who couldn’t care for her properly.”
The documentary also shows a note written by Diana to her brother Earl Spencer after he informed her of Bashir’s elaborate allegations that she was being spied on.
The note, addressed to the count with the nickname Diana for his brother ‘Carlos’, reads:’ Dear Carlos, I appreciated so much the content of our phone call this morning, it all makes perfect sense for what is happening around me at this time Present.
“They” underestimate Spencer’s strength! Much love from Duch x ‘.
The show also reveals a confidential internal BBC management document written by outgoing TV Current Affairs director Tim Gardam.
He claims that Bashir had misled his bosses by denying that he had shown the fake bank statements to anyone. The journalist later admitted that he had, in fact, shown them to Earl Spencer to ‘further’ their relationship.
A statement drafted by former BBC Director General Tony Hall to the corporation’s governors in April 1996 described the fakes as mere ‘graphics’ and said Martin Bashir had no explanation why he had created them.
He continued, “I think that, even with his mistake, he is an honest and honorable man.”
In the same statement to the BBC governors, Hall also acknowledged that Bashir viewed Spencer as “the best route” to “get to the Princess of Wales.”
Film and theater director and former BBC Governor Sir Richard Eyre, who attended the April 1996 meeting, told Panorama that if Tony Hall had revealed to the governors that Bashir had lied, they would have insisted on an investigation. complete.
He said: ‘The fact that Bashir lied should have been clear to us, but in my memory, he never was.
“Constitutionally, we, the governors, deserved at least to receive an honest report of what was happening.
‘We can see now that the fake bank statements were the lever that opened the doors of access to Diana.
“If we had known at the time, there is no question that this would have been mercilessly investigated, because [the governors] were very, very, very excited about the organization’s sense of ownership.”
Earl Spencer told Panorama that Bashir’s strategy was to make “ everyone untrustworthy ” as a way to get closer to him and his sister.
He said: ‘Bashir was very good at amplifying people’s anxieties.
“He was very good at making you feel like he was your friend who was going to save you in a difficult and dangerous world.”
After the original broadcast in 1995, BBC management relied on a note from Princess Diana that appeared to exonerate Martin Bashir.
That note was never publicized and had disappeared until recently. He says: ‘Martin Bashir did not show me any documents or give me any information that he did not know before.
“ I accepted the interview on Panorama without any undue pressure and I have no regrets. ”
Earl Spencer told BBC Panorama: ‘I have seen the content of the letter … It does not exonerate the BBC as far as I am concerned, because Diana is dealing from a position where she has been lied to …
“She did not know that the entire obtaining of the interview was based on a series of falsehoods that made her vulnerable to this.”
Diana’s friends have claimed that she might still be alive today ‘if she hadn’t talked to Bashir’, whom they nicknamed ‘The Poison Dwarf’ after her betrayal emerged.
Patrick Jephson, the Princess of Wales’ private secretary at the time, said the claims Bashir made about him in an attempt to get closer to Diana were “completely fabricated.”
Jephson was shown a note taken at the meeting between Diana and Bashir calling him “dangerous.”
He said, ‘Well, I guess from Martin Bashir’s perspective I was the obstacle that had to be removed. So by removing me from a position of trust, he left the way open for him to tell her whatever story he wanted to try to ingratiate himself with her. ”
Addressing the initial meeting between Diana and Bashir that he arranged, Earl Spencer said that some of the claims were so fantastic that both he and Diana dismissed them as false.
Earl Spencer warned Diana that the claims didn’t add up and he ‘apologized’ to her sister for making the presentation.
The earl thought ‘that was it’ and said, ‘I still take full responsibility for introducing this man to Diana. But at the end of the day I had done my due diligence. ‘
BBC graphic designer Matthew Weissler, who helped Bashir create the mock bank statements, said that Bashir.
Steve Hewlett – who had vouched for Bashir’s integrity to Earl Spencer.
Harry Dean, then deputy editor of Panorama, learned of the forged documents. He telephoned series editor Steve Hewlett, who had responded to Earl Spencer for Bashir’s integrity.
Mr. Hewlett told Mr. Dean “I don’t see why this is your business” in an in-person meeting, the deputy editor claimed, before assuring him that nothing was wrong.
Weissler said Hewlett “didn’t seem to understand that I had a real concern.” He just ‘thanked’ the graphic designer and said things were working out.
Bashir told the bosses that the documents could not have been used to persuade Diana to participate in the interview because she was the source of the information.
But Bashir had met Diana three weeks after the documents were falsified, dates known to the BBC.
Jephson spoke of a change in the princess after the initial meeting with Bashir.
‘There was a high state of anxiety. I was aware that something was happening and it involved me and I did not know what it was, but I hoped it would become known sooner or later. ”
After the interview, relations with Buckingham Palace became very strained. So professionally, just speaking as a private secretary, my job, which is no longer easy, became incredibly difficult. ”
She resigned from her post in the wake of the explosive interview, saying the move was “devastating” and a “life-changing event.”
In his conviction, Judge Lord Dyson, who conducted a six-month investigation, said: “Mr. Bashir misled him and induced [Count Spencer] to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana. By gaining access to Princess Diana in this way, Bashir was able to persuade her to agree to give the interview. This behavior seriously violated the 1993 edition of the BBC Producer Guidelines on Direct Deal ”.
Lord Hall’s subsequent 1996 investigation into claims that Diana was misled by Bashir was “ woefully ineffective, ” the judge said today, especially since his investigation “ did not examine ” Bashir despite knowing that he had lied. three times about showing the fake bank statements to Earl Spencer.
“Lord Hall could not have reasonably concluded, as he did, that Mr. Bashir was an honest and honorable man,” the report said. The BBC had “covered up” “without justification” Mr. Bashir’s tricks and “therefore failed to meet the high standards of integrity and transparency that are his hallmark,” Lord Dyson said.
Lord Birt, Director General of the BBC at the time of the interview, said today: “ We now know that the BBC was hosting a rogue reporter on Panorama who fabricated an elaborate, detailed but totally false account of his dealings with Earl Spencer and Princess. . Diana.
“This is a shocking stain on the BBC’s enduring commitment to honest journalism, and it is a source of great regret that it took 25 years for the whole truth to come out.
“As CEO at the time, I offer my deepest apologies to Earl Spencer and everyone else affected.”
Lord Hall insisted today that his “integrity” remained intact despite criticism and pointed a finger at the embarrassed journalist, saying he was “wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt.”
And a defiant Mr. Bashir said in a statement this afternoon: “This is the second time that I have fully and willingly cooperated with an investigation into the events over 25 years ago.
‘I apologized then, and I do so again now, for the fact that I asked for copies of the bank statements to be made. It was stupid and it was an action that I deeply regret. But I absolutely agree with the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently.
I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing on Princess Diana’s personal choice to participate in the interview.
“ It is regrettable that this topic has been allowed to overshadow the princess’s courageous decision to tell her story, speak boldly about the difficulties she faced, and help address the silence and stigma that surrounded mental health issues so many years ago. . .
“She led the way to address many of these issues and that is why I will always be immensely proud of that interview.”
He later added: At the time I was approached for comment, Lord Dyson’s report had not yet been published and I was not allowed to respond due to confidentiality obligations that I owe to the BBC and Lord Dyson, which I take really. As a result, I have not been able to provide a detailed answer to the allegations, except to say that I believe there is compelling evidence casting doubt or even disproving many of the allegations, and will provide more information when I am able to do so.’
Senior BBC executives came under fire for a 1996 internal investigation that examined simulated documents relating to the earl’s former employee, while attempting to determine whether or not the princess had been misled, with key evidence, a note from Diana, suggesting that he hadn’t.A letter, which was included as evidence in Lord Dyson’s report, written on official Kensington Palace office paper and signed by Diana, read: “Martin Bashir did not show me any documents or give me any information that I was not previously aware of. He accepted the interview in Panorama without any undue pressure and I do not regret the matter. ”
One letter, which was included as evidence in Lord Dyson’s report, written on official Kensington Palace paper and signed by Diana, read: ‘Martin Bashir did not show me any documents, nor did he give me any information that I was not previously aware of. I accepted the interview in Panorama without any undue pressure and I do not regret the matter ”.
Today’s report said that Bashir had lied when he said that he had not shown the documents to anyone, when in fact he had shown them to Earl Spencer, and he repeated this lie two more times.
He also said that Bashir was ‘unable or unwilling’ to offer a credible explanation of why he had commissioned the falsification of statements and why he had shown them to Earl Spencer, and did not approach Earl Spencer to give his version of what it had happened.
The report said: “They accepted the version that Mr. Bashir gave them as true.”
Lord Dyson added: “I have concluded that, without justification, the BBC concealed in its press records the facts that it had been able to establish about how Mr Bashir got the interview; and he did not bring up the subject at all on any news program and thus failed to meet the high standards of integrity and transparency that are his hallmark. ‘
Jephson, who was the squire and private secretary to the Princess of Wales for eight years until 1996, issued a statement suggesting that the Panorama interview had “tragic consequences” for Diana.
Lord Dyson’s report indicated that Jephson was the subject of false documents that were likely presented by announcer Martin Bashir and shown to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, while the journalist tried to access the princess.
Jephson has previously said that a “line” leads from his interview with Bashir to the night he died in a 1997 car accident in Paris.
He said in his statement: “After so many years, it is a relief to learn more of the truth behind the events that had so many unhappy and even tragic consequences.
“I am grateful to Lord Spencer, Lord Dyson and the tenacious journalists who brought the story to light. I also appreciate the full apology from the BBC that I received from the Director-General this afternoon. ”
Mark Killick, a senior producer at Panorama at the time, said Martin Bashir’s behavior was “disgraceful” and the BBC “a little better.”
He said in a statement: “Lord Dyson’s report shows that what Martin Bashir did was shameful and what the BBC leadership did was a little bit better. When I first learned what had happened, I consulted a BBC lawyer, then spoke with Bashir and high-level colleagues before using the editorial referral route.
When I did, I knew the BBC might react badly, but I had no idea how far they would go to try to discredit me.
“ While this happened some time ago, the BBC should make a commitment to its staff that they can safely raise the type of issue I was faced with without losing their jobs or without the huge publicity machine of the BBC being unleashed against them. ”
DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight said the group would review Lord Dyson’s findings and the BBC’s response to the report.
He said: ‘This forensic report from Lord Dyson finally gets to the truth of the events behind the BBC Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
“He raises a number of unacceptable flaws on the part of the BBC in its internal investigation of the events behind the interview and I welcome the full acceptance of the findings by the BBC.
“The DCMS Committee will review the report’s findings and analyze the BBC’s response to the report as part of its ongoing scrutiny of the work of the BBC.”
Former CEO Lord Tony Hall has said he accepts the 1996 BBC investigation into how Panorama got its interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, “ did not do what was required ” and was wrong to “ give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt. ‘
The report said: ‘Without justification, the BBC failed to meet the high standards of integrity and transparency that are its hallmark by covering up in its press records the facts that it had been able to establish about how Mr Bashir got the interview and was unable to mention Mr. Bashir’s activities or BBC investigations into them on any news program. ‘
Lord Hall said: ‘I have read Lord Dyson’s report, and I accept that our investigation 25 years ago into how Panorama secured the interview with Princess Diana fell far short of what was required.
“In retrospect, there were more steps that we could and should have taken following the complaints about Martin Bashir’s conduct.
I was wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt, basing that judgment as I did on what seemed to be deep remorse on his part.
Earl Spencer Quicks and Facts
- Princess Diana’s brother linked her death to the BBC after saying she reached crisis after interview deception
- It came as broadcaster suffered onslaught of criticism over Martin Bashir’s interview and cover-up
- Lord Dyson published his highly-anticipated and damning report today that brought shame on corporation
- Retired judge says Bashir was guilty of deception to gain interview just two years before Diana died in Paris
- Lord Hall ‘woefully ineffective’ probe also criticised and his 1996 conclusion that Bashir was an ‘honest man’
- Diana’s private secretary at the time, Patrick Jephson, said ‘line’ leads from her interview to the night she died
- Panorama documentary investigating how Mr Bashir lied will also air at 7pm with even more bombshell claims
- Bashir, who has quit BBC for health reasons, says he remains ‘proud’ of show but fake statements were ‘stupid’