UK: Ex-BBC journalist denies Princess Diana interview harmed her

Princess Diana interview
Princess Diana interview Photo credit: Newshub

An ex-BBC journalist found to have deceived Princess Diana to gain an exclusive interview with her in 1995 has claimed he is not to blame for several events that led to her death. 

Veteran journalist Martin Bashir told The Sunday Times he felt his measures to secure the interview did not harm the royal. 

In the world-exclusive interview, Princess Diana confirmed details of her failed marriage to Prince Charles and mentioned how she felt royal life had made her bulimic. 

An investigation published by the BBC on May 21 found the journalist had lied to and deceived Princess Diana into believing she was being spied on to encourage her to agree to the interview. 

The report found the journalist showed the documents to Earl Spencer, to gain his trust so he would introduce Bashir to the princess. 

"I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don't believe we did," Bashir told the outlet. 

However, her youngest son Prince Harry and brother Charles Spencer slammed the BBC claiming the interview was part of several unethical practices that eventually cost the Princess her life. 

The princess' eldest son, Prince William accused the BBC in a televised statement of commercialising a "false narrative" about his mother and the outlet's actions contributed "significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation" in the years before her passing. 

Princess Diana died after suffering substantial injuries from a fatal car accident in Paris, France in 1997. 

"I don't feel I can be held responsible for many of the other things that were going on in her life, and the complex issues surrounding those decisions," Bashir told The Sunday Times. 

He said while he understands the motivation, channelling the tragedy and the complicated relationship between the royals and the media entirely on his shoulders "feels a little unreasonable."

"The suggestion I am singularly responsible, I think, is unreasonable and unfair," he added. 

The outlet quoted the ex-journalist as admitting the use of fake bank documents, which the inquiry said was part of the deception of the princess. 

"Obviously, I regret it, it was wrong," Bashir told the newspaper. 

However, Bashir claimed the forged documents had no bearing on Diana or the interview. 

The report also found a previous internal BBC inquiry in 1996 that covered up Bashir's malpractice. 

Britain's government said on May 21 that it would look into how the BBC was run after the inquiry criticised the broadcaster for its "woefully ineffective' investigation into the journalist's actions. 

London's Metropolitan Police claimed they would also assess the report to "ensure there is no significant new evidence" after ruling out a criminal investigation in March.