Martin Bashir ‘deceitfully’ obtained 1995 Princess Diana interview, report finds

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News reporter Martin Bashir deceived Earl Spencer to secure the bombshell 1995 Panorama interview with his sister Princess Diana, a new report published Thursday has found.

A probe into his infamous interview with Princess Diana has been going on for a while now after questions were raised in how the journalist obtained the coveted high-profile sit-down chat.

Diana made a series of sensational claims in the candid tell-all, including one where she said there were "three of us" in her marriage to Prince Charles.

And on Thursday, the report issued by Lord Dyson found that Bashir was in a "serious breach" of BBC guidelines and acted inappropriately by producing fake bank statements to obtain the interview.

Following the findings, Bashir, who quit BBC last week on health grounds, issued a statement.

"This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago," he began.

"I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up. It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret.

"But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago and again more recently.

"I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview," he concluded.

Meanwhile, a "full and unconditional" apology has been issued by BBC Director General Tim Davie.

He said: "I would like to thank Lord Dyson. His report into the circumstances around the 1995 interview is both thorough and comprehensive. The BBC accepts Lord Dyson's findings in full.

"Although the report states that Diana, Princess of Wales, was keen on the idea of an interview with the BBC, it is clear that the process for securing the interview fell far short of what audiences have a right to expect. We are very sorry for this. Lord Dyson has identified clear failings.

"While today's BBC has significantly better processes and procedures, those that existed at the time should have prevented the interview being secured in this way. The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew.

"While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC offers that today."

With Lord Dyson, the former master of the rolls and head of civil justice, brought in to investigate the matter, Prince William welcomed the probe, breaking his silence on the matter in November 2020.

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, said the independent investigation into Martin's methods to secure the interview "should help establish the truth" over the BBC's decisions.

In a statement released by Kensington Palace, the dad-of-three expressed: "The independent investigation is a step in the right direction.

"It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time."

The investigation was launched after Earl Spencer alleged Bashir showed him fake financial documents relating to his sister's former private secretary Patrick Jephson and another former royal household member and told untrue stories about the royal family to gain access to the princess.

Spencer, 56, accused the BBC of "whitewash" in an email sent to MailOnline and claimed they used forged bank statements to set up the sit-down with his sister.

He also claimed Bashir told Diana she was being bugged by MI5 and accused the journalist of "yellow journalism".

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