Friday, 27 Nov 2020

Princess Diana interview: ‘Forged documents’ were ‘tipping point’ to secure BBC meeting

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During Channel 4’s documentary ‘Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview’ Andrew Morton claims forged bank statements were the “tipping point” that convinced Princess Diana to take part in a 1995 BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir. The documentary alleges bank statements were obtained “confirming Diana’s brother had been betrayed by a former employee”. Mr Morton added that the Princess of Wales lived in a world of anxiety.

Mr Morton added that the Princess of Wales lived in a world of anxiety.

He claimed: “I spoke to people that were very close to the Princess of Wales who said they discussed these bank statements in October 1995.

“They were quite specific and they discussed with Diana and these documents and whether or not she should give an interview.

“It all makes sense when you realise she lived in a world of anxiety and possible surveillance.

“Speaking to those in Diana’s circle at that time you could get a sense of why the bank statements were a tipping point that made her mind up to sit down at Kensington Palace and speak about her life to Martin Bashir.”

The BBC told MirrorOnline: “The suggestion of criminal activity is a serious allegation, but, in these circumstances, a risible one.

“A handwritten note from Princess Diana stated that she had not seen the bank statements and that they had no role in her decision to give the interview.”

The BBC said regarding the bank statements: “The BBC itself no longer possesses a physical copy of this note, and thus could not release it under FOI in 2007 or indeed now, but its existence is documented in the BBC’s records, and it was seen, at the time, by BBC management.

“Questions around the ‘mocking-up’ of bank statements were covered in the press a quarter of a century ago.

“BBC records from the period indicate that while we understand the documents were shown to Earl Spencer, they were not shown to the Princess of Wales and that she had confirmed that they played no part in her decision to give what was, and still is, one of the most iconic interviews of the last half of the twentieth century.

“Martin Bashir is seriously unwell with Covid-related complications and we cannot put any of these questions to him.”

During an interview with Express.co.uk body language expert, Judi James analysed Princess Diana’s appearance during the BBC Panorama interview.

Judi told Express.co.uk: “Watching this interview through contemporary eyes in an age where celebrity revelations about depression, eating disorders and divorce appear in the press on a daily basis it is easy to underestimate the strength, resolve and bravery of Diana’s words in the context of the climate she lived in.

“With her high, girlish vocal tone and those huge doe eyes looking close to tears her appearance can look deceptively vulnerable.”

Ms James added: “A proper examination of her body language and words suggest a much stronger, determined and apparently honest woman driven less by self-pity and vulnerability and more by a sometimes angry determination to set the record right.

“Her overall delivery is intelligent, thoughtful and controlled.

“She pauses slightly before each answer and her eyes tend to roll up to a spot that suggests honesty and recalled memory rather than fabrication.”

She stated: “Her responses are forensic in terms of her verbal constructions while her lack of verbal fillers or hesitations suggest a woman with total clarity of thought holding an analytical review of her history plus quite high levels of confidence.

“Considering the subjects covered, her stronger emotions are held skilfully and quite amazingly in check throughout the interview although there are smaller signs of body language leakage that might reveal some of her suppressed thoughts.”

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