With the new director general at the BBC, those allegations are being revisited. It could not come at a more inconvenient time for the media company: the BBC is currently focusing on negotiating a future funding package with the British government. The outlet’s publicly funded model faces growing scrutiny, including from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
But the BBC’s director general Tim Dewey is dedicated to investigating the circumstances of the interview. A retired senior judge will lead the investigation.
“We will make every effort to get to the bottom of this,” Davy said in a statement.
Matt Weizler, who was a graphic designer for the BBC at the time, confessed to mocking the bank’s statements after reaching out to Bashir, saying he “needed some bank statements.” Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer has claimed that Bashir tricked her by showing her false bank statements and asked the reporter to introduce her sister.
The Daily Mail correspondent Richard Kay said: “The whole basis of the interview was arranged on the wrong and dodgy ground. “
According to Charles Anson, the Queen’s press secretary at the time, Buckingham Palace was turned a blind eye by a 1995 interview.
“There wasn’t much we could say,” Ans told CNN.
Shortly after the interview, in 1996, the BBC launched an internal investigation and concluded that the documents were forged, but did not play a role in Diana’s decision to take part in the interview.
Bashir did not defend himself in public, and he did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. He is currently on leave, recovering from heart surgery and complications from Covid-19, according to a BBC statement.
– CNN’s Max Foster contributed to this report.
Correction: The previous version of this story incorrectly stated the year of the BBC interview. It was conducted in 1995.
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