Earl Spencer’s Fury Over BBC Attempt to Blame HIM for Fake Documents Used to Set Up Princess Diana Interview
- Former Director General of the BBC suggested that Earl Spencer was producing fake documents
- Princess Diana’s brother is said to be ‘furious’ at attempting to blame him
- Bashir initially believed he had used the documents to gain the count’s trust
Earl Spencer could sue the BBC for allegations that he provided a bank statement used by Martin Bashir to secure his infamous interview with Diana.
Bashir’s first came after he commissioned a graphic designer to produce fake documents.
Former BBC Director General Tony Hall suggested that the princess’s brother was the source of the original material on which these were based.
Earl Spencer is said to be “furious” at attempting to blame him. He would also consult lawyers.
Earl Spencer (photo with Diana) could sue the BBC for allegations that he provided a bank statement used by Martin Bashir to secure his infamous interview with Diana
A new Channel 4 documentary on the Panorama interview reveals that Lord Hall, then BBC news head, wrote a memo to his board of directors suggesting that Diana’s brother had provided the statements Bashir used to make forgeries.
Last night, a source close to the Earl revealed, “It would not be an understatement to say he is furious and consults his lawyers.”
A friend said, “Why would he even have someone else’s bank statements?
‘There is just no logic in it! They entered fantasy land … they had a chance to ask him about this, but the BBC never did. ‘
Bashir’s (photo) scoop came after he commissioned a graphic designer to produce fake documents
Bashir is said to have initially used the documents to gain the trust of the count himself – who the reporter then introduced to Diana.
Bashir had commissioned a graphic artist to mock the statements, which suggested that the Earl’s chief of security, Alan Waller, was taking payments from a newspaper group and an offshore company allegedly affiliated with MI5.
Minister: Label Crown and say it’s fiction
The Crown should have a warning at the beginning of each episode to make it clear that it is fiction, the culture minister said.
Oliver Dowden praised the Netflix drama as “ beautifully produced, ” but said some viewers could confuse dramatized storylines with real-life events.
He added, ‘It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so … Netflix should be very clear at first, it’s just that.’
He told The Mail on Sunday: “Without this, I fear that a generation of viewers who have not witnessed these events will take fiction for fact.”
His comments come after Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer told ITV’s Lorraine, “ It would help The Crown immensely if it said at the beginning of each episode, ‘This is not true, but is based on real events. I worry that people will think this is gospel, and that is unfair. ‘
An internal investigation into the scandal in 1996 saw the BBC indemnify itself from any wrongdoing. The result came after Lord Hall told the board that Bashir was going to see Diana’s brother and “Earl Spencer … showed him some documents, including this man’s bank statement.”
Earl Spencer rejected this version of the events, telling The Mail, “This suggests that I have unlawfully given him someone’s bank details. This is a lie. ‘
Lord Hall’s memo and other related documents were only released under the Freedom of Information Laws thanks to the persistence of Channel 4 documentarian Andy Webb. He first asked for the files 13 years ago, but was told they didn’t exist.
Mr. Waller has confirmed that the supposedly incriminating payments on the forged bank statements never happened.
He says his life was devastated by Bashir – now the BBC’s editor of religion – and is considering a complaint to the police about the scandal.
Lord Hall has not answered any questions about the affair, other than for the BBC to find out. He is expected to participate in the new investigation of a former Supreme Court judge. The BBC has promised the investigation will examine all available evidence – including a long-lost letter from Diana herself, in which she reportedly said she ‘gave up the interview and was not influenced by documents’.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘The BBC is determined to find out the truth of what happened. That’s why we’ve appointed Lord Dyson to lead a fully independent investigation. It is essential that anyone with information shares it so that they can investigate thoroughly. ‘
Bashir did not respond to requests for comment.
The Diana Interview: The Truth Behind The Scandal is on Channel 4 tonight at 8pm.