Princess Diana Was ‘Seduced’ Into 1 of Her Most Infamous Interviews Claims Her Private Secretary
It’s been 25 years since Princess Diana sat down for her infamous Panorama interview. Fans will recall that this was when the Princess of Wales admitted that there were “three of us” in her marriage – an obvious reference to Camilla Parker Bowles. Now, Diana’s private secretary, Patrick Jephson, and her brother, Charles Spencer, have revealed what really happened leading up to that interview. Spencer has accused the BBC of “sheer dishonesty,” while Jephson claims Diane was “seduced.”
Charles Spencer sent the BBC a scathing letter regarding Princess Diana’s ‘Panorama’ interview
According to People magazine, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer recently sent a “scathing letter” to the head of the BBC. He called out the network for the tactics they used to secure the 1995 interview with his sister.
It turns out, the BBC used faked documents to land Martin Bashir’s interview with the Princess of Wales on Panorama. Charles accused the BBC of sending him a “piecemeal apology” for using the fake documents.
In October, the Sunday Times reported that Bashir created bogus bank statements in an attempt to convince Charles that someone on Princess Diana’s staff was leaking information about her and her family.
“[The BBC] have yet to apologize for what truly matters here: the incredibly serious falsification of bank statements suggesting that Diana’s closest confidants were spying on her for her enemies,” Charles explained.
He says those bank statements led him to talk to Diana about “such things.” This led to a September 1995 meeting where Charles introduced Diana to Bashir. That meeting resulted in the interview. Charles requested a new inquiry into the matter, and he also wants a “much larger apology.”
The BBC responded to Charles Spencer by launching a new investigation
According to The New York Post, the BBC has responded to Charles’ letter by launching a new investigation. In addition to the false bank statements, Charles also believes that Bashir used other unethical methods. He says that Bashir told Princess Diana “fantastical stories to win her trust” and convince her to do the interview.
The BBC’s investigation has already hit a speed bump. Bashir is now 57 and the religion editor for BBC News. He is also gravely ill with COVID-19. The network has admitted, however, that Bashir showed Charles bank statements that a staff graphic designer doctored.
“Suggesting that mocked-up documents were genuine was wrong then and it’s wrong now; the BBC of today is happy to apologize for this. The BBC’s editorial processes are now even tougher and this would not happen today,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement. “The BBC’s records say that the Princess of Wales said she hadn’t seen the mocked-up documents and they had played no part in her decision to take part in the interview.”
The BBC says they’ve apologized, and they are happy to “repeat that apology.” They also said that they would investigate this new information “robustly and fairly,” even though the incident took place “a quarter of a century ago.” They said they would speak to Bashir when he is well.
Princess Diana’s personal secretary claims she was ‘seduced’ into doing the interview
Patrick Jephson was Princess Diana’s personal secretary from 1988 to 1996. According to OK! Magazine, Jephson says that when the Panorama interview came out he was livid.
“Part of my visceral reaction was outrage that somebody should have exploited the princess in this way,” Jephson said. “Knowing the princess as I did, making her perform like this was a combination of seduction and betrayal. Panorama burnt her bridges with the rest of the royal family and cut her off, fatally, from the protection of the royal institution.”
Former BBC Director-General John Birt claims that Bashir received a tip from a former member of the intelligence services that Diana’s private apartments at Kensington Palace were bugged. He says that Bashir provided bank statements that allegedly showed one of her employees had received payments worth $13,688.
“Diana was afraid of being bumped off, simple as that,” biographer Andrew Morton said.
Jephson also revealed that someone informed Diana that Queen Elizabeth would abdicate in 1996. Someone also told the princess that Camilla would be “put aside.” After Charles became king, Princess Diana believed she would be murdered.
“The more outlandish the things she was being told, the more avidly she seemed to swallow them,” Jephson said.