James Hewitt: Princess Diana's former lover is saving lives by funding rescue operations in war-torn Ukraine

James Hewitt: Princess Diana's former lover is saving lives by funding rescue operations in war-torn Ukraine
James Hewitt (L), the former love interest of Princess Diana (R), has been rescuing people in war-torn Ukraine (Steve Finn and Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

KYIV, UKRAINE: James Hewitt, 64, a former love interest of Princess Diana, reportedly established a non-profit organization to aid vulnerable people in leaving war-struck Ukraine. Hewitt worked to create Humanitarian Online Payments (HOP), a group that dispatches a convoy of up to nine vehicles carrying Ukrainians out of the conflict zone.

He co-founded the organization with Mikey Stewart Richardson, the son of a decorated British captain who established the Afghan Mother and Child Rescue in the early 1990s. When he was a young Household Cavalry officer from 1986 to 1991, Hewitt had a five-year relationship with Princess Diana. The Princess of Wales verified the relationship in the infamous Panorama interview with discredited journalist Martin Bashir. Despite having a heart attack and a stroke five years ago, Hewitt has continued to save and transport persecuted Ukrainians to safety. A person close to Hewitt told the Daily Mail that "he's doing something useful."

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James Hewitt arrives for the Press Launch of the new ITV1 television series Celebrity Wrestling at the Soho Hotel on April 13, 2005 in London, England. Professional wrestlers D-Lo Brown and Joe Legend each take team of six celebrities (Warriors and Crusaders) and prepare them for combat in a series of real bouts filmed before a public audience.
James Hewitt is working hard to conduct rescue operations and save people from the ongoing war in Ukraine (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) 

The organization which relocates Ukrainian families to secure regions in the UK or EU is described by Hewitt and Stewart-Richardson as a "not-for-profit" on their website. “We visit all parts of Ukraine, including the areas close to the front line, to find, help and assist in collecting the young, old and infirm Ukrainians who wish to flee Putin. It's essential work and we're humbled to play a small part in the incredible story of the charity, Operation SafeDrop,” the website reads. To help with evacuations, they have teamed up with an organization called Operation SafeDrop which has been working in Poland and Ukraine since March.

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Although Hewitt declined to comment on the claims, he is said to have made two "very successful" rescue attempts. According to one of his friends who spoke with the Daily Mail, "He's finding the missions very fulfilling," and "a third is planned very shortly."

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Shortly after the fund's creation, Stewart-Richardson posted on Facebook to denounce Putin's "evil" war. “I can't understand why Putin's Russia is trying to take over Ukraine - Putin obviously thought it would be a walk in the park but he has seriously miscalculated. The Ukrainian army has forced the Russians out of the Kyiv sector but what the Ukrainians then found was a catalog of rape, torture, summary executions and the most heinous war crimes. When I saw how this evil man, Putin, wages war, my mind was immediately made up to help the Ukrainians in any way that I could,” he wrote. 

After leaving the army in 1994, Hewitt stirred up controversy by working with ‘Princess In Love’ novelist Anna Pasternak and disclosed the specifics of his relationship with the late royal. He was willing to raise funds by selling Diana’s letters in a million-dollar deal. the contents of the letters still remain hidden.

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