Society 12:15 21/05/2021 World

Princes William, Harry condemn BBC over ‘deceitful’ Diana interview

Prince William and his brother Prince Harry on Thursday issued strongly worded statements criticizing the BBC and British media for unethical practices after an investigation concluded that one of the broadcaster’s journalists used “deceitful behavior” to secure Princess Diana’s most explosive TV interview in 1995, AP reported. 

The circumstances surrounding the interview from more than 20 years ago came under scrutiny after Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, made renewed complaints that journalist Martin Bashir used false documents and other dishonest tactics to persuade Diana to agree to the interview.

The BBC appointed a retired senior judge in November to lead an investigation into the matter. On Thursday, a report from the inquiry said Bashir acted in a deceitful way and breached BBC rules by mocking up fake bank statements and showing them to Charles Spencer to gain access to the princess.

The report also criticized the BBC for covering up what it knew about Bashir’s actions, and said the corporation’s own probe into the matter fell short of its usual standards of integrity and transparency.

In his statement, William, 38, said the BBC’s failures contributed to the deterioration of his parents’ marriage and worsened Diana’s feelings of paranoia.

“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others,” he said. “It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”

In the interview, a major scoop for Bashir, Diana famously said that “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Her candid account of her failing marriage with Charles was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy.

William alleged that “the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.” He went on to say that Diana “would have known that she had been deceived” had the BBC properly investigated the concerns first raised in 1995.

Harry, meanwhile, said the issue was bigger than just the BBC - and that “the ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.”

“To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step toward justice and truth,” he wrote. “Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these—and even worse—are still widespread today.”



Source Panorama.am
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