Getty Images, Jean-Luc PETIT / Contributor
In 1995, Princess Diana of Wales sat down with British journalist Martin Bashir and gave him the "scoop of the century," as it was referred to in tabloids at the time. She disclosed that both she and her husband, Prince Charles, were unfaithful to each other and that she was in the throes of a battle with "rampant bulimia." Many have wondered how this interview came to fruition, especially since Diana was still in the grasp of the royal family, and now the BBC, who aired the interview and currently employ Bashir, is investigating Bashir and his questionable tactics to secure Diana's trust at the time.
Earlier this week, a two-part documentary about that fateful interview aired on the British network ITV, in which Bashir was accused of using doctored bank statements to trick Diana into thinking she was being spied on by royal employees in order to sway her trust toward Bashir.
The interview as a whole was shrouded by intense secrecy and carried out like something out of a spy movie. Camera equipment was hidden in boxes with misleading labels, staff was sneakily sent home for the afternoon, and Bashir's car was parked in a CCTV blindspot to avoid suspicion.
This is how Martin Bashir and the BBC Panorama team got inside Kensington Palace to record that famous interview with Princess Diana.#TheDianaInterview: Revenge of a Princess, tonight & tomorrow at 9pm on ITV and @ITVHub: https://t.co/GvHsT1tspW pic.twitter.com/BY68ayp1r7
— ITV (@ITV) November 9, 2020
Though Bashir was questioned and exonerated in 1996 by the BBC for accusations regarding his ethics, the ITV documentary revealed that graphic designer Matthias Wiessler, who produced the doctored bank statements, was actually the one punished after the '96 investigation in lieu of Bashir, despite Bashir spearheading the entire event.
Bashir is currently recovering from heart surgery and complications due to COVID-19, and has yet to speak publicly about the new accusations and information made public by the documentary.
Here is the former @BBCPanorama graphic designer who told tonight’s ITV documentary that he was asked by Martin Bashir to create two fake bank statements. Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer says the fake statements were used to help secure that big 1995 interview pic.twitter.com/HTspyznfuK
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) November 9, 2020
Per The New York Times, the BBC is taking these new accusations very seriously and plans to further investigate Bashir and his tactics. And according to ITV, Diana's brother Charles Spencer demands an apology from the BBC for not conducting a thorough enough investigation back in 1996, however, the BBC has claimed, per ITV, that, "According to our records, the Princess spoke for herself, sending a handwritten note saying she had not seen the documents and they had played no part in her decision to take part in the interview.”