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Martin Bashir Apologizes, But Denies His BBC Interview Harmed Princess Diana

An independent inquiry into former BBC reporter Martin Bashir revealed the journalist had forged documents in order to secure an interview with Princess Diana. Bashir has since apologized and admitted his wrongdoing, but denied that the interview had any effect on Diana.

In Bashir's 1995 interview with Diana, the Princess dropped bombshell statements including, "There were three of us in this marriage." The broadcast supposedly changed her life forever. Her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, blame the BBC and the interview for their mother's death.

Bashir denied that was the case and argued that Diana wasn't unhappy about the interview, the BBC reported.

"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 said.

The former journalist said he and Diana became friends following the broadcast. She even visited Bashir's wife in a London hospital after giving birth to the couple's third child.

The investigation released at the end of the week found Bashir forged bank statements to leverage Earl Spencer, Diana's brother, into arranging a meeting with the Princess, the BBC reported.

"Obviously I regret it, it was wrong," Bashir said. "But it had no bearing on anything. It had no bearing on [Diana], it had no bearing on the interview."

According to the 127-page report, Bashir had hired a graphic designer to forge the bank statements and checks to make it seem as though Diana was being spied on by her own family.

Additionally, the BBC conducted its own investigation into the matter in 1996 and cleared Bashir of any wrongdoing. The recent investigation found the BBC's probe "woefully ineffective" and alleged that BBC executives had covered up the truth. The BBC has written apologetic letters in response to the investigation.

Prince William said his mother "was failed not just by a rogue reporter but by leaders of the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions."

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Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.