Princess Diana’s ‘insecurities fed by Bashir’ says expert
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Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith spoke to Today Programmes’s Mishal Husain to discuss Lord Dyson’s findings on the validity of BBC’s Panorama Princess Diana interview in 1995. Lord Dyson’s report concluded that the BBC’s Panorama interview with Princess Diana in 1995 was won through deceit. Ms Smith insisted that Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer had told her that he believed Martin Bashir had fed into Diana’s insecurities.
He also told her that he did not believe anyone around Princess Diana had urged her to do the interview.
Ms Husain said: “In Prince Harry’s statement he said the ripple effect of cultural exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took his mother’s life.
“A mid-term review of the BBC charter is due next year and the Culture Secretary has already said the changes to governance arrangements are being considered.
“First let’s speak to Sally Bedell Smith, royal biographer of Princess Diana who spoke to Earl Spencer in 1998 as part of the research for the book she was writing.
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It was the year after the Princess died and Earl Spencer told her then about the run-up to the interview with Martin Bashir.
“She later provided evidence to Lord Dyson for his review.
Ms Smith said: “The most chilling thing Earl Spencer said to me was that he did not know of anybody who had urged Diana to do the interview.
“The quote from him was that she was off on her own having had her various insecurities fed by Bashir very cleverly.”
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Ms Husain reflected on the conclusion of Lord Dyson’s report and noted the Princess did want to do an interview at the time.
She then asked whether Ms Smith had come to that same conclusion in her research.
Ms Smith replied: “I didn’t have quite that definitive notion.
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“I think if she had discussed her advisors they would have said no this is not a good idea.
“Anybody sensible would have said this is not a good idea so the only way she could do it was in an underhanded fashion and Martin Bashir was more than willing to do it.
“Yes she probably was determined but I think iin the hands of someone who was more straightforward and didn’t do an interview under false pretences it might not have been so damaging.”
Following the release of the report, both Prince William and Prince Harry have condemned Martin Bashir and the BBC for their actions.
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