The Duke of Sussex and his older brother William react after journalist Martin Bashir admits to faking bank statements before the bombshell interview with Princess Diana.
AceShowbiz –Prince Harry has blasted journalist Martin Bashir and the BBC following an independent inquiry into the 1995 Panorama interview with his late mum, insisting the U.K. TV exclusive led to her death.
The 1995 TV sit-down remains one of the most explosive royal interviews in BBC history, and it helped turn Bashir into a much-respected broadcaster, but on Thursday (20May21), former Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson concluded that Bashir made a “serious breach” of the BBC’s editorial guidelines by creating false bank statements to manipulate the then-Princess of Wales and her brother, Earl Spencer, into giving the interview.
Lord Dyson said Bashir “deceived” his way to the interview and suggested BBC bosses “fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark.”
BBC bosses and Bashir have apologised for their conduct, and now Prince Harry has weighed in with a damning statement, suggesting the explosive interview was the beginning of the end for his mother, who died in a mysterious car crash in Paris, France two years later.
“Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service,” Harry said in a statement. “She was resilient, brave and unquestionably honest. 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 towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse – are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.”
“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”
Harry’s brother, William, also offered up a statement at a press conference, adding, “It is my view that the deceitful way that the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.”
He also accused Bashir’s interview of wrecking his parents’ relationship. “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse, and has since hurt countless others,” Prince William 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.”
The royal family is under the spotlight again – as it was following Diana’s BBC interview – thanks to remarks Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have made in recent months about their decision to step down as official royals and move to California.
Harry went so far as to claim he was estranged from his father, Prince Charles, for a time, who stopped taking his calls, because he made a decision to break the cycle of pain passed down from parents to children in the royal family.
“There is no blame. I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody,” Harry said during an appearance on Dax Shepard‘s “Armchair Expert” podcast, “but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically.”
“It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway, so we as parents should be doing the most we can to try and say, ‘You know what, that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.’ “
Speaking directly about his relationship with Charles during a controversial recent TV chat with Oprah Winfrey, Harry added, “When we were in Canada, I had three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls. He knows what pain feels like. Of course I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that.”
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