Martin Bashir 'deceived and induced' Princess Diana's brother to land Panorama interview

·2-min read

Journalist Martin Bashir "deceived and induced" Princess Diana's brother to secure his bombshell interview in 1995, a BBC inquiry has found.

The report compiled by former High Court judge Lord John Dyson, stated that Bashir, 58, made a "serious breach" of the BBC's editorial guidelines by creating two false bank statements which he showed to Diana's brother Earl Spencer, to manipulate the late princess into giving the interview.

According to Sky News, Bashir has apologised in response to the report's findings and said the faking of bank statements was a "stupid thing to do" and "an action I deeply regret".

BBC director-general Tim Davie has made a "full and unconditional" apology after the findings in Dyson's report were released on Thursday afternoon.

And former director-general Lord Hall, the BBC's director of news and current affairs at the time the interview was screened, has conceded the corporation's 1996 inquiry into how the Panorama sit-down was secured "fell well short of what was required".

Bashir said in a statement: "This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago. I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up.

“It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently.

"I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview."

He recently stepped down as the BBC's religion editor due to ongoing health issues.

The journalist’s bombshell Panorama interview with Diana, during which the late royal famously claimed there were "three of us" in her marriage to Prince Charles, led to an order from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II that the estranged couple should divorce.

Diana died at age 36 following a car crash in Paris in August 1997, one year after she and Charles officially parted ways.

Spencer told People last November that Bashir used forged bank statements to show two senior courtiers were being paid by the security services for information on his sister.

He wrote: "If it were not for me seeing these statements, I would not have introduced Bashir to my sister."

On Thursday, he tweeted a sweet photo of him with his sister and added in the caption: "Some bonds go back a very long way."