Almost 23 million viewers watched the night Princess Diana bared her soul about her failed marriage to Prince Charles — and his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles.
“There were three of us in this marriage,” she told BBC journalist Martin Bashir.
Now, 25 years later, Bashir is being accused of getting the scoop by playing off Diana’s fears that the secret service was bugging her private conversations and by using fake bank statements to get her brother, Earl Spencer, to help clinch the interview, The Sunday Times of London reported.
The BBC told the outlet Bashir isn’t well and couldn’t respond.
The accusations contradict an investigation that the BBC conducted a year after the November 1995 bombshell interview because network officials themselves were worried about how Bashir had won Diana’s trust.
About three months before the interview, Bashir told Spencer he was investigating the media and used the fake bank statements to show the earl that his former security chief was selling information about the family to journalists, figures within the royal circle and MI5 employees, The Sunday Times reported.
The bank statements were instrumental in getting Diana to meet with Bashir a month later. Afterward, Spencer warned his sister that Bashir was making wild allegations. Still, she eventually consented to the interview.
“Without Spencer, Bashir wouldn’t have got to her,” a source told The Sunday Times.
Bashir’s contention that Diana was being spied on played off fears that she already had after her separation from Charles, friends recalled.
“She absolutely did believe that security services were spying on or watching her,” Lord Puttnam, the film producer, told The Times. “I have no way of knowing whether it’s true or not.”