The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, has lashed out at the BBC following the revelation that journalist Martin Bashir lied to his mother, Princess Diana, to secure an interview in 1995.
In an angry statement broadcast yesterday, William accused the BBC of “deceitful” behavior and of fueling the paranoia that haunted his mother. He also said the interview had worsened the relationship between his mother and father, Prince Charles.
The news came following the release of a 127-page report that came from an inquiry that concluded Bashir had “deceived and induced” Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, into ensuring the interview was secured for BBC television program Panorama.
Why was an investigation set up to look into the Princess Diana interview?
The BBC set up an inquiry into Bashir back in November after Diana’s brother raised concerns that he had been tricked into introducing Diana to the journalist with forged documents and other unnamed methods.
Bashir is accused of forging bank statements to make it look like individuals had been paid to spy on the Princess.
The inquiry, headed by court judge Lord John Dyson, looked in depth into the allegations before coming to a final decision.
“Mr. Bashir deceived and induced (Earl Charles Spencer) to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana. Mr. Bashir acted inappropriately and in serious breach of the 1993 edition of the Producers’ Guidelines on straight dealing,” the report said, according to the CBC.
Dyson also said that the BBC had “fallen short” in upholding their usual high standards for interviews and had failed to be open and honest.
Why was the Princess Diana interview with Martin Bashir so controversial?
The interview of Princess Diana by Bashir sent shock waves throughout the world after Diana admitted that there were “three people in (the) marriage” between her and Prince Charles.
This admission was in reference to Charles having an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, whom he ended up marrying in 2005 after secretly dating prior to his divorce from Diana in 1996.
In the conversation with Bashir, Diana also revealed that she had also fallen in love with someone else at one point, James Hewitt, a former household cavalry officer in the British Army, but her feelings for him had turned sour after he discussed details about her in a book.
The interview spanned over a multitude of difficult topics, ranging from Diana discussing her private life, mental health, postpartum depression after the birth of William, and even her propensity to inflict self-harm.
What did Prince William say about BBC and journalist Martin Bashir?
Upon hearing the verdict laid out by Judge Dyson, William recorded a scathing video message and posted it to the royal’s official Twitter page.
William took time to thank Dyson for his efforts in gathering the truth and called the findings of the inquiry “extremely concerning.” He continued to admonish the BBC and Bashir, saying that the means by which the interview was secured only served to cause more emotional damage to the late Princess by playing on her fears and “fueled paranoia.”
William also stated that he believes that the lies and deceit used by Bashir to trick Diana into doing the interview “substantially influenced” what his mother said to the journalist.
The interview was given a harsher look at by the public after Princess Diana’s untimely death in 1997 after her car crashed during a chase by the paparazzi.
Despite the reportedly strained relationship between William and his brother, Harry, it’s hoped the two can put aside their differences to help facilitate an unveiling of a statue in honor of Diana this July.