Former BBC journalist Martin Bashir spoke out in an interview with the Times after an inquiry found he had used “deceitful behaviour” to obtain a 1995 interview with Princess Diana which allegedly contributed to her paranoia.
Bashir told the Times on Saturday that he was “deeply sorry” to Prince William
and Prince Harry, but claimed he had “never wanted to harm Diana in any way” and doesn’t believe he did.
“Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents,” Bashir argued in his defense, claiming he and his family “loved her.”
Though Bashir said he regrets using falsified bank statements to obtain the interview, admitting “it was wrong,” he argued that the unethical decision “had no bearing on the interview” or the princess and that he doesn’t feel he “can be held responsible for many of the other things that were going on in her life, and the complex issues surrounding those decisions.”
“To channel the tragedy, the difficult relationship between the royal family and the media purely on to my shoulders feels a little unreasonable,” he protested, concluding that the suggestion he is “singularly responsible” for her tragic final years and subsequent death “is unreasonable and unfair.”
Bashir left the BBC this year under the pretext of health issues, amid an inquiry from former Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson which concluded that Bashir’s “deceitful behaviour” in obtaining the interview was a “serious breach of the BBC’s Producers’ Guidelines.”
Though he was initially investigated by the BBC over the interview in 1996, the year after it aired, the company’s then-director of news and current affairs, Lord Tony Hall, concluded Bashir was an “honest and honourable man.” Lord Hall resigned from his position as chairman of the National Gallery this week.
Following the results of the inquiry, Prince William
alleged that the “deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced” Princess Diana’s fear and paranoia in her final years.