Where is Martin Bashir now? How BBC journalist 'deceived' Princess Diana to give infamous Panorama interview
Decades before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave their bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey, Princess Diana had spoken to BBC's Martin Bashir that was equally controversial if not more. This Panorama interview would go on to affect not only the princess' life but also those around her and shake the foundations of the royal family. Years later in 2021, an independent inquiry deemed that the interview fueled her paranoia and ultimately took her life.
Former Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson, who led the inquiry, concluded on May 20, 2021, that the 58-year-old former BBC journalist “deceived” his way to the interview that made his name, while the BBC “fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark.”
Who is Martin Bashir? BBC forced to apologize as journalist used 'deceitful' methods to secure Diana interview
Prince William calls Martin Bashir's Diana interview 'deceitful', Harry says she 'lost life because of this'
The now infamous interview has invited big trouble for the BBC as Prince William appeared on television to give a scathing statement. Not holding back, he criticised the BBC, its "rogue reporter" in Bashir and their ethics and said that the "interview was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse and has since hurt countless others". He also added that the "ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices (which) ultimately took her life."
According to Lord Dyson's report, Bashir had gained the interest of Diana's brother Earl Spencer by presenting falsified bank documents that showed his former head of security Alan Waller had taken money to spy on him. He also peddled lies about senior royals and courtiers to gain her interest.
The latest reports reveal that among the many points Lord Dyson made, there were claims that Bashir told Diana her private correspondence was being opened, her car tracked and phoned tapped, that her bodyguard was plotting against her, and close friends were betraying her.
Among other things it was said the Prince of Wales and Tiggy Legge-Bourke, her sons' nanny, went on a secret holiday and he was 'in love' with her.
Prince Charles' extramarital affair
Before the interview, there was a lot that was said about Prince Charles’ extramarital affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. It was something that Diana was reportedly paranoid about and dealing with it herself.
But it was in Bashir's interview that she said the now-famous words that there were "three of us in this marriage" in relation to this affair. "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," she had said.
This interview proved to be the tipping point for Charles and Diana's already rocky marriage. As William rightly pointed out how the interview was "a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse." The couple would go on to finally announce their divorce in July 1996.
Where is Martin Bashir now?
On May 15, 2021, just as BBC was bracing itself for the release of the report on Bashir's interview, the journalist quit his post.
BBC's deputy director of news Jonathan Munro announced it in a written statement but clarified that it was not because of the report. "Martin Bashir has stepped down from his position as the BBC's religion editor and is leaving the corporation. He let us know of his decision last month, just before being readmitted to hospital for another surgical procedure on his heart," he wrote, adding, "Although he underwent major surgery toward the end of last year, he is facing some ongoing issues and has decided to focus on his health."
The journalist has acknowledged his errors. "This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago. I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up. It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently."