Bashir made his name on the back of the Panorama interview, during which Diana uttered the now-famous words that there were “three of us in this marriage” in relation to her broken relationship with Prince Charles.
Bashir’s actions were the subject of an internal BBC investigation in 1996, which cleared the former MSNBC host of wrongdoing. But now, Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has presented the BBC with a “dossier” of evidence that casts new light on the tactics deployed by the reporter.
In a letter sent to director general Tim Davie, Spencer said he has uncovered evidence that Bashir used forged bank statements in his attempts to persuade Diana to take part in the interview. The Earl also found a letter sent to him by Bashir in which the journalist refers to false rumors that Prince Charles had an affair with nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
“I am now formally asking for the BBC to open an enquiry into this matter, and I hope – among many other questions that need addressing – that it will get to the bottom of key, interconnected questions,” Spencer told Davie in the letter seen by the Daily Mail.
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The BBC has now agreed to look at fresh evidence relating to the 25-year-old story, but said the matter is complicated as Bashir is currently seriously unwell with complications relates to coronavirus. Bashir is currently employed as the BBC News’ religion editor.
A spokeswoman said: “The BBC has apologised. We are happy to repeat that apology. And while this was a quarter of a century ago, we absolutely will investigate – robustly and fairly – substantive new information.
“We have asked Earl Spencer to share further information with the BBC. Unfortunately, we are hampered at the moment by the simple fact that we are unable to discuss any of this with Martin Bashir, as he is seriously unwell. When he is well, we will of course hold an investigation into these new issues.”
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