Martin Bashir used “deceptive behavior” to secure his controversial interview with Princess Diana in 1995.
The 127-page report, released Thursday, found the reporter “cheated and instigated” the late royal’s brother, Earl Spencer, to get the Panorama interview, The Telegraph reported.
According to the outlet, current BBC chief executive Tim Davie said the company “fully” accepts the findings of former High Court Judge Lord Dyson.
“Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was enthusiastic about an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the proceeds for securing the interview were nowhere near what the public is entitled to. expect, ”Davie said. “We are very sorry for this. Lord Dyson identified obvious flaws. “
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“While the BBC today has significantly better processes and procedures, the ones that existed at the time should have prevented the interview from being secured in this way,” he continued. “The BBC should have done more to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and be more transparent about what it knew. While the BBC cannot turn the clock back after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional statement. apologies. The BBC is offering this today. “
In response to Lord Dyson’s report, Bashir issued his own statement.
“This is the second time that I have voluntarily cooperated fully in an investigation into the events of more than 25 years ago,” said the 58-year-old, quoted by the outlet. “I apologized back then, and still do now, for asking for fake bank statements. It was a stupid thing to do and it was an action that I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I have given. a quarter of a century ago, and even more recently. “
“I also reiterate that the bank statements had nothing to do with Princess Diana’s personal choice to participate in the interview,” Bashir said. PRINCE HARRY COMPARES ROYAL LIFE TO “THE TRUMAN SHOW” AND “LIVING IN A ZOO”
“It is sad that this unique issue has been allowed to overshadow the princess’s courageous decision to tell her story, to speak courageously about the hardships she has faced and to help fight the silence and stigma that surrounded the issues. mental health all those years ago. . She led the way in addressing so many of these issues and that is why I will always remain immensely proud of this interview. “
Lord Dyson was commissioned six months ago by Davie to investigate the circumstances surrounding the bombshell disclosure, according to the outlet. It has been alleged that Bashir violated the BBC’s editorial guidelines by creating two fake bank statements which he showed to Earl Spencer. The 57-year-old then introduced Bashir to Diana. The interview took place two months later after the meeting.
In November 2020, Earl Spencer told People magazine that the documents had an influence on his decision to approach Diana about the interview, as they alleged that a member of his staff was being paid by tabloids to disclose information about the family of the princess.
“That’s what led me to talk to Diana about such things,” he told the outlet. “This, in turn, led to the meeting where I introduced Diana to Bashir on September 19, 1995. This then led to the interview. “
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In October 2020, The Sunday Times alleged that Bashir manipulated Diana into saying while showing those faulty bank statements to her brother. After coming under pressure from Diana’s family over the report, Davie ordered an independent investigation to investigate Bashir’s tactics.
Earlier this year, Bashir was the subject of a criminal investigation. However, the Metropolitan Police decided in March that “no further action would be taken against the journalist.”
“In recent months the Metropolitan Police Service has received correspondence alleging illegal activity in connection with a documentary released in 1995,” Commander Alex Murray said in a Scotland Yard statement. “This has been carefully evaluated by specialist detectives. Based on this detailed assessment and on the advice we received, we determined that it was not appropriate to initiate a criminal investigation into these allegations. “
Bashir has resigned from his role as editor-in-chief of religion for the BBC. The departure was confirmed in an email the BBC deputy news director Jonathan Munro sent to staff.
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“He told us about his decision last month, just before he was readmitted to hospital for another surgery on his heart,” Munro wrote. “Although he underwent major surgery towards the end of last year, he faces persistent problems and has decided to focus on his health. “
In the infamous interview, the Princess of Wales said ‘there were three of us in this marriage’, referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, whom he married after Diana’s death. Diana, who divorced Charles in 1996, died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi. She was 36 years old.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.