Lost Princess Diana letter defending Bashir ‘turns up’ amid interview inquiry
A handwritten note written by Princess Diana has reportedly been found, which allegedly says she was happy with the infamous Panorama interview.
Martin Bashir’s controversial interview with Diana has been the subject of a major investigation by the BBC after her brother Earl Spencer alleged it was obtained under false pretences.
In the interview, which was broadcast 25 years ago this month, the princess spoke frankly about the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles and the effect it had on her.
According to a BBC investigation soon after the interview, the handwritten note from the princess showed that “we … have her word in writing” that she had not been tricked.
The note was thought to have been lost. Andy Webb, a journalist who worked on Channel 4’s documentary marking the 25th anniversary of the pivotal interview, said that the BBC had been unable to find it when his team asked for it.
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He told the Guardian: "Fascinating that it has turned up, just in time for an inquiry. With the history of forgeries in this case, they’ll hopefully look at it very closely indeed.”
Bashir himself has remained silent throughout the debate. Currently the BBC’s religion editor, he has been off sick after contracting coronavirus earlier this year and has also undergone heart surgery.
During the iconic interview, Diana famously said: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” She also confessed that she had been in love with army officer James Hewitt.
She opened up about having suffered post-natal depression after giving birth to Prince William. “It gave everybody a wonderful new label, she said. “Diana’s unstable and Diana’s mentally unbalanced. And unfortunately that seems to have stuck on and off over the years.”
Earl Spencer has claimed that the BBC faked documents that convinced Diana to agree to the interview.
Earlier this month, he called for an independent inquiry, saying he would never have introduced Bashir to his sister if he had not seen bank statements that had been altered to suggest that his former head of security had been paid off by a newspaper group and a mysterious offshore company.
But an internal BBC investigation that took place shortly after the original broadcast came to the conclusion that Diana had not been tricked into giving the interview.
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