AFP, published on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 12:48 p.m.
The BBC on Thursday agreed to pay “significant” damages to the former nanny of Princes Willam and Harry, who was targeted by false allegations 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.
Alexandra Pettifer, better known as Tiggy Legge-Bourke (a nickname and her maiden name), had launched a lawsuit against the public broadcasting giant, contesting the “fabricated” allegations that attributed to her an affair with the Prince Charles when she was the personal assistant to the Prince of Wales.
It had been claimed that she had an abortion after becoming pregnant with Prince Charles.
In London’s High Court, her lawyer Louise Prince said her client was “relieved that the BBC recognizes that the allegations were totally false and completely unfounded”.
“The BBC has agreed to pay substantial damages to Ms Pettifer and would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to her, the Prince of Wales and the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex for the manner in which Princess Diana has been abused and the resulting impact on their lives,” group chief executive Tim Davie said in a statement.
“If we had done our job correctly, Princess Diana”, who died in a car accident in Paris in 1997, “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.
False account statements had thus been shown to Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, to make him believe that the security services were paying two people to the Court to spy on his sister. According to Charles Spencer, this is 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 last May.
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 after exposing the misleading methods of Martin Bashir.