Martin Bashir Apologizes for 1995 Princess Diana Interview, But Claims It Did No Harm to Her
BBC is also reviewing the editorial policies and investigating why Martin Bashir was rehired in 1996.
Former journalist Martin Bashir who reportedly used deceitful methods to secure an interview with the late Princess Diana said he was “deeply sorry,” but denied that that interview harmed her, according to a published report.
The world was mesmerized by the late Princess Diana, including the countless paparazzi who captured her every move. When Bashir landed an interview with Diana, it was considered one of the most coveted interviews of the times and Bashir's fame and notoriety skyrocketed.
During the 1995 interview, Princess Diana spoke candidly about her failed marriage to Prince Charles, his longtime affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, who he later married, and her eating disorder, bulimia. One of the bombshell comments she made during their conversation, “There were three of us in this marriage,” referenced her husband’s affair with Bowles. She also admitted to her own affair, the BBC reported.
Bashir claimed that Diana was not unhappy with the interview and told the BBC that “everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted." He went onto say that once the interview aired he and Diana were friends and that she even visited his wife at the hospital when his third child was born, NPR reported.
However, a recent investigation found that Bashir allegedly lied and used trickery to win the Princess over. He allegedly forged documents in order to secure the interview. In a stunning 127-page report, it was revealed that Bashir had allegedly hired a graphic designer to forge the bank statements and checks to make it seem as though Diana was being spied on by her own family.
The investigation disclosed that Bashir’s alleged scheme was used on Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, who was the person who had arranged the meeting with the Princess, NPR reported.
In response to the claims regarding his deceitful actions, Bashir said, “Obviously I regret it. It was wrong. But, it had no bearing on anything on Diana. It had no bearing on the interview,” NPR reported
In 1996, the BBC said they conducted their own investigation into Bashir and cleared him of any misconduct, however, the recent investigation done by an independent inquiry, revealed the BBC’s investigation was ‘woefully ineffective” and alleged that BBC executives had covered up the truth, NPR reported.
As media interest in the interview increased, the BBC allegedly covered up what it had learned about how Bashir secured the interview, the inquiry said, according to the BBC.
Prince William said his mother "was failed not just by a rogue reporter but by leaders of the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions."
The BBC is now reviewing their editorial policies and Bashir's rehire, and has written apology letters in response to the investigation and its findings. They said their audiences had "a right to expect better from the BBC," a report said.
"We recognize the impact that the events it describes have had on so many people, not least those whose lives were personally affected by what happened,” the statement read, the BBC reported.
In 2016, Bashir was rehired as a religious correspondent despite questions about his conduct, the BBC reported. At that time, the BBC claimed that the position Bashir filled was given to him after what they described as a “competitive interview process.”
Richard Sharp, the chairman of the British Broadcasting, told BBC's World at One that he “takes comfort” knowing the Bashir is no longer with the BBC but wanted to "understand" and find out why Bashir was rehired.
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