Earl Spencer could sue the BBC for saying he provided a bank statement used by Martin Bashir to get his infamous interview with Diana.
Bashir’s scoop came after he commissioned a graphic designer to produce fake documents.
Former BBC chief executive Tony Hall has suggested the princess’ brother was the source of the original material they were based on.
Earl Spencer would be “furious” for trying to blame him. He is also believed to be consulting lawyers.
Earl Spencer (pictured with Diana) could sue the BBC for claiming to provide a bank statement used by Martin Bashir to secure his infamous interview with Diana
New Channel 4 documentary on Panorama’s interview reveals Lord Hall, then head of BBC news, wrote a note to his board of governors suggesting that Diana’s brother was providing the statements Bashir used to create false .
Yesterday evening, a source close to the count revealed: “It would not be an understatement to say that he is furious and that he is consulting his lawyers. “
A friend said, “Why would he even have bank statements belonging to someone else?”
“There is simply no logic in this! They entered a fantastic country… they had the opportunity to ask him questions about it, but the BBC never did.
Bashir’s scoop (pictured) came after he commissioned a graphic designer to produce fake documents
It is believed that Bashir first used the documents to gain the trust of the Earl himself – who then introduced the reporter to Diana.
Bashir had commissioned a graphic designer to fake the statements, which suggested that the Earl’s chief security officer, Alan Waller, was accepting payments from a group of newspapers and an offshore company allegedly linked to MI5.
Minister: Give Crown a tag saying it’s fiction
The Crown should carry a warning at the start of each episode clearly stating it is fictional, the Culture Secretary said.
Oliver Dowden praised the Netflix drama as “beautifully produced,” but said some viewers might mistake dramatized stories for actual events.
He added, “It’s a beautifully produced piece of fiction, so… Netflix should be very clear at first, that’s just it. “
He told the Mail on Sunday: “Without it, I fear that a generation of viewers who have not experienced these events may take fiction for fact. “
His remarks come after Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer told ITV’s Lorraine: “It would help the Crown immensely if at the start of every episode he said, ‘It’s not true but is based on some actual events ”. I’m afraid people think it’s the Gospel, and that’s unfair.
An internal investigation into the scandal in 1996 cleared the BBC of any wrongdoing. The result came after Lord Hall told the board of governors that Bashir had gone to see Diana’s brother and that “Earl Spencer … had shown him some documents, including this man’s bank statement.”
Earl Spencer dismissed this version of events, telling the Mail: “This suggests that I illegally gave him someone’s bank details. This is a lie. ‘
Lord Hall’s memo and other related material were only released under freedom of information laws thanks to the persistence of Channel 4 documentary director Andy Webb. He first requested the files 13 years ago, but was told they didn’t exist.
Mr Waller confirmed that the allegedly incriminating payments on the fake bank statements never happened.
He says his life has been ruined by Bashir – now the BBC’s religion editor – and plans to file a complaint with the police over the scandal.
Lord Hall did not respond to questions about the case, beyond that the BBC needs to get to the bottom of this. He is expected to participate in the new investigation led by a former Supreme Court justice. The BBC has promised the investigation will examine all available evidence – including a long-lost letter from Diana herself, in which she allegedly said she “gave the interview freely and was not influenced by any documents. “.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC is determined to find out the truth about what happened. That is why we have appointed Lord Dyson to conduct a fully independent investigation. It is vital that everyone with information shares this, so that it can conduct a thorough investigation.
Bashir did not respond to requests for comment.
Diana’s interview: The truth behind the scandal is on Channel 4 at 8 p.m. tonight.