The BBC agreed, on Thursday 21 July, to pay“important” damages to the former nurse of princes Willam and Harry, who had been slandered by one of his former journalists, Martin Bashir, in order to land an event interview with Princess Diana in 1995.
This agreement is a new episode in the saga around the deceptive methods used to organize the interview, seen by 23 million viewers, in which the Princess of Wales admitted to having an extramarital relationship. Before this interview, Mr. Bashir would have led Diana to believe that the nurse had become pregnant with Prince Charles, when the latter was his personal assistant, by showing her a fake “proof” of abortion.
Alexandra Pettifer, better known as “Tiggy Legge-Bourke” (a nickname and her maiden name), had launched lawsuits against the public broadcasting group, contesting the allegations “made” by Mr Bashir. In the High Court in London, his lawyer, Louise Prince, said his client was “relieved that the BBC recognizes that the allegations were totally false and without any basis”.
BBC “Public Apology”
“The BBC will pay substantial damages to Mr.me Pettifer and would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to him, the Prince of Wales and the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex for the manner in which Princess Diana was abused and the resulting impact on their lives.”Group Chief Executive Tim Davie said in a statement. “If we had done our job properly, Princess Diana”died in 1997 in a car accident in Paris, “would have known the truth”he continued.
In an independent report published in May 2021, former Supreme Court Justice John Dyson shed light on journalist Martin Bashir’s deceptive methods to land the interview and slammed the BBC for his handling of the case.
Fake bank statements had also been shown to Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, to make him believe that the security services were paying two people to court to spy on his sister. According to Mr Spencer, this was what prompted him to introduce the journalist to Lady Di.
After this interview, Martin Bashir continued his career in the United States before returning to the United Kingdom to work for the BBC, until his resignation in May 2022. In this case, the BBC has already compensated the former private secretary of Lady Di and reached a financial agreement with a graphic designer who had been dismissed for having exposed the misleading methods of Martin Bashir.