A journalist is said to have shown the princess forged documents so that she could trust him and allow him to speak.
The interview went around the world. It was on November 20, 1995, when Princess Diana granted the BBC that memorable conversation in which she accused Prince Charles of infidelity in front of an audience of millions: “There were three of us in this marriage – and that was a bit much … “The interview was a disgrace to the palace and BBC man Martin Bashir became a journalistic celebrity overnight.
But now the brother of the princess, Earl Spencer, has made serious allegations against the BBC. At the time, Bashir stole his trust with forged documents – and thus access to his sister. The journalist spread lies about the royal family. For example, that courtiers were paid to spy on the princess and thus specifically encouraged his sister’s distrust of the palace. As evidence, he presented bank statements that later turned out to be forgeries.
A few days ago the forger, a former BBC graphic artist named Matt Wiessler, publicly confirmed this process. Bashir actually turned up one evening in 1995 with the following request: “He told me he urgently needed some bank statements for his work. It wasn’t unusual for me because I occasionally had to produce such props for filming. He told me that unfortunately he could only describe the originals to me and refused to write or sketch anything. “
Martin Bashir still works for the BBC, but is on sick leave after heart surgery and is silent. The question also arises why it took the princess’ busy brother 25 years to get his allegations to the public?
He wrote on Twitter: “In fact, I had known for a long time that Martin Bashir was using forged documents at the time to convince my sister for this interview. On the other hand, I have only known for two weeks – thanks to research by journalists – that the BBC was also aware of these events and covered them over the years. That was the reason I now address the public. “
If Bashir lied and cheated, it is bad for him, but even more so for his employer. “There’s a whole dark cloud hanging over the BBC. Earl Spencer’s allegations warrant independent investigation. It has to be clarified who did what and in particular knew who, otherwise the damage can no longer be controlled », says the former BBC chairman and media entrepreneur Lord Grade.
BBC announces investigation
In the meantime, the BBC has also seen this and promised an investigation into the events. It will not stay with this one, the parliamentary media commission has announced that it will be examining the outrageous events with its own investigation.
The collateral damage from this scandal should not be underestimated. Like most public service media houses, the BBC has come under massive pressure in recent months. Conservative politicians want to cut their funds and are even toying with the abolition of broadcasting fees. Should it therefore be true that the BBC betrayed Diana with forged documents, and that the management of the broadcaster at the time swept the matter under the carpet, this would seriously damage the reputation of the BBC at a worst possible moment.
BBC presents handwritten note from Diana
After the allegations, the BBC presented an exonerating handwritten note from the deceased on Friday. The princess stated that forged documents did not play a role in her decision to give the broadcaster an interview, it said. However, the broadcaster did not publish any photos or copies of the note.
“After the BBC announced an independent investigation, the handwritten original note of the princess has now been found,” said a statement from the broadcaster. They were passed on to the responsible investigators. The results of the investigation should be published promptly. (dpa)