BBC reporter Martin Bashir resigned from the network on health grounds amid an investigation into whether he obtained an explosive 1995 interview with Princess Diana through deceptive means.
The BBC opened an investigation last November to determine whether the reporter used false documents to force Diana to agree to the interview, which later became a defining moment in television history.
In the interview, Diana told Bashir that her wedding was “a bit crowded” and that there were “three of us in this marriage”, referring not only to herself but to her husband as well. of the time, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, who Charles would later marry.
NBC’s “TODAY” recently obtained an internal statement sent to BBC staff announcing Bashir’s departure from the news organization.
“Martin Bashir has resigned his post as editor-in-chief of the BBC’s religion and is leaving the company,” the statement read. “He told us about his decision last month, just before being readmitted to hospital for another surgery on his heart. Although he underwent major surgery late last year, he faces lingering issues and has decided to focus on his health. We wish him a full and speedy recovery. “
Last year, the BBC revealed that Bashir – who also worked for MSNBC and ABC during his decades-long career – was recovering from serious complications from the coronavirus and heart surgery.
Bashir’s 1995 Everything with Diana was watched by 20 million people in the UK and sent shockwaves through the British Royal Family. Diana later divorced Charles in 1996, just months after the interview. She then died the following year in a car accident in Paris while being chased by paparazzi.
“This interview was fundamental, it was so important because it was the first time Diana had expressed feelings about her royal life and marriage,” Camilla Tominey, NBC News contributor and royal commentator, said in November. “… It was always going to be sensational, explosive and eye-catching.”
The interview was re-examined after the release of a documentary by UK broadcaster ITV titled “The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess”. The documentary claimed that Bashir had a graphic designer create fake bank statements, which he then used to convince Diana that royal employees were being paid to spy on her.
Diana’s brother Charles Spencer tweeted by November 8, he knew that Bashir “had used false bank statements and other dishonesty to trick my sister into doing the interview.” Spencer also claimed he found out that the BBC was also aware of the fake bank statements. He asked the network to apologize for the forged documents that led him to introduce Bashir to his sister.
A statement released by Kensington Palace in November said Prince William, Diana’s eldest son, “tentatively welcomed the investigation.”
“The independent investigation is a step in the right direction,” William said in the statement. “It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and the subsequent decisions made by those at the BBC at the time.”
A BBC spokesperson said the results of the network’s investigation would be released “very soon”.