Martin Bashir claims he's NOT responsible for Diana's death and he 'loved' her
SHAMELESS Martin Bashir last night insisted he was not responsible for Princess Diana’s death — even claiming he “loved” her.
The Panorama presenter launched a sickening fight-back after being blamed for the misery in the final two years of her life.
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Prince William had insisted the 1995 explosive TV interview had fuelled her “fear, paranoia and isolation” in the run-up to his mother’s fatal car crash in Paris.
But Bashir, 58, flat-out refuses to admit that the notorious one-on-one chat, watched by 23 million, was granted after telling her lies to make her paranoid.
He said: “Even in the early 1990s, there were stories and secretly recorded phone calls. I wasn’t the source of any of that.”
The newsman, who won a Bafta that the BBC has handed back, also hit out at Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, who claimed Bashir had planted a bug in her Kensington Palace flat to gain her confidence.
He said: “I don’t feel I can be held responsible for many of the other things that were going on in her life, and complex issues surrounding those decisions.
“I can understand the motivation but to channel the tragedy, the difficult relationship between the Royal Family and the media, purely on to my shoulders feels a little unreasonable.
“The suggestion I am singularly responsible I think is unreasonable and unfair.”
Despite the misery caused by the interview over the past 25 years, he said the two royal Princes, William and Harry, are still in his thoughts.
He said: “I can’t imagine what their family must feel each day, although I know a little of that myself having lost a brother and father prematurely.”
Bashir claims Diana even told him about taking her own life.
The pair bonded after he made a programme about postnatal depression — suffered by his wife Deborah.
He said: “Diana talked about her own experience of postnatal depression. She spoke about bulimia a bit. She also said something like — and this is hard to recall and I didn’t take notes — she said something about feeling suicidal.”
'I NEVER WANTED TO HARM DIANA'
They got on well because, he claims, that he “wasn’t in any way judgmental”.
Bashir, in an interview with The Sunday Times, states the Princess was happy with the BBC interview and the pair grew close.
He revealed Diana even visited him and Deborah in hospital in South London an hour after their third child was born.
There is a photograph of a delighted Diana, wearing a dark blazer and white top, cradling the baby Eliza in 1996.
He insisted: “I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did.
“Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the Palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents.
“My family and I loved her.”
Bashir said Diana invited the family to Scotland for a break with her after Deborah developed pleurisy — but they never made the trip.
However, Diana did invite the Bashirs to Kensington Palace for their eldest child Samuel’s eight birthday, with Prince Harry present at the royal residence.
He said: “Harry was there and Paul Burrell was serving.
“Our eldest and Harry kicked a ball around. It was a very precious relationship.”
His intervention comes after Lord Dyson’s inquiry into the interview found Bashir’s account “unreliable and, in some cases, dishonest” — calling the reporter’s forged bank statements to help gain the interview “devious and dishonest”.
Bashir last night said he “deeply regrets” showing them to the Earl.
He admitted: “It was wrong.”
Penny Junor, Prince Harry’s biographer, blasted: “Martin Bashir’s response shows extraordinary arrogance and false confidence. I think he is shameless.
“I don’t doubt the truth of what he’s saying. I think Diana was pleased with the interview.
“And I’m sure she said things she wanted to say — she was in a frame of mind where she was very vulnerable and wanted to hurt Charles. She was angry at what happened in her marriage and she was hurt and she wanted to damage him.
“But I think Bashir’s behaviour in commissioning those bank statements to be forged is never justified — maybe to catch and expose criminals but not to get an interview from a very vulnerable young woman.
“Bashir is shameless and he’s justifying himself on the grounds that Diana was pleased with the interview. That’s wrong.”
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “I think he’s deeply sorry that he has been caught.
“He has brought the British Broadcasting Corporation to the position where a future King of England has given an interview questioning the Corporation’s integrity and honesty.
“He betrayed Princess Diana and whatever code of ethics the BBC runs by and he betrayed the British people.”
Meanwhile, the Queen was said to be resisting mounting pressure to take action against Prince Harry over his latest incendiary outburst against the Royal Family.
Her Majesty wants to take a conciliatory approach towards her grandson — despite a string of damaging claims made by him on US TV.
Insiders have revealed the Queen is “loath to act in haste” and prefers to adopt a more measured approach.
It came as sources revealed aides close to Prince Charles have advised him to take firm action over Harry’s interview.
Senior aides and close friends of the Prince of Wales favour a potential review of Harry and Meghan’s royal status.
The Queen stepped out yesterday for the first time since Prince Philip’s death.
The 95-year-old monarch emerged on the deck of £3.2billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth to greet the crew preparing for her maiden voyage.
She appeared in good spirits as she inspected the 932ft, 65,000-tonne ship she once dubbed the “Best of British”.
The vessel was due to set sail last night as part of Carrier Strike Group in its first deployment, travelling to 40 countries on a 28-week deployment to the Middle East and Pacific.
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