In a newly published letter obtained by the Mail on Sunday, Earl Spencer has made serious accusations of manipulation against the BBC and Martin Bashir for their actions that led up to the infamous 1995 Panorama interview. 56-year-old Charles is demanding an apology and an explanation.
Princess Diana's Interview With Martin Bashir
The story behind the 1995 interview heard 'round the world is finally coming to light. Millions tuned in to watch vulnerable Princess Diana go into great detail about her husband Prince Charles' affair with married Camilla Parker-Bowles and Diana's mistreatment by the Monarchy.
But now, her younger brother Charles, 9th Earl Spencer is demanding answers after the BBC released a "palpably untrue" apology claiming there was no manipulation to attain the interview. Charles claims that Martin Bashir, the man who interviewed Diana, originally showed Charles bank statements proving that payments were made to Diana's staff for information on her family. He now realizes those bank statements were in fact forged.
The former BBC staff member who created the actual forged documents has also come forward and admitted to his part in obtaining the "interview of the decade." After being shown these documents by Martin Bashir he secured a meeting between Martin and Diana that ultimately led to the infamous interview.
A spokesperson for the BBC recently published a partial apology while claiming that "The suggestion of criminal activity is a serious allegation, but, in these circumstances, a risible one."
Charles Spencer Refutes BBC's Claims
In the letter addressed to BBC director Tim Davie, Charles Spencer states that "If it were not for me seeing these statements, I would not have introduced Bashir to my sister." Charles is cleary very upset by the BBC's poor "apology" and says, "Your piecemeal apology seems to be a way for you merely to say that you've apologised to me, rather than acceptance of the full gravity of this situation."
He believes there should be "a much larger apology: one directed to Diana; to all who were so grossly lied to - including a global audience; and to me. For Bashir to claim that he showed me any false bank statements after I introduced him to Diana is a lie... I have never met him or spoken to him since the introduction of 19 September 1995. I knew, on 19 September that he was lying. I had absolutely nothing to do with him after that date."
Diana's protective younger brother continued with, "I am now formally asking for the BBC to open an inquiry into this matter, and I hope that it will get to the bottom of key questions: why did Tony Hall's inquiry not seek the truth from me? Why did it bend over backwards to whitewash Bashir? Who else knew the extent of his yellow journalism when securing what Hall calls 'the interview of the decade... or of the generation'?"
He concluded the message with "The sheer dishonesty of what I've seen in the BBC 25 years ago - both in Bashir and his colleagues' actions in securing the interview and the whitewash under Tony Hall's name - demands it. Yours sincerely, Charles Spencer."
Allegations Against Controversial Journalist Martin Bashir
The renewed interest, in this case, comes after BBC director Tim Davie admitted to Spencer that Martin Bashir had used a graphic designer to create the fake bank statements. This is not the first time Martin Bashir has been on the receiving end of serious allegations.
Martin was also accused of "yellow journalism" during his interviews with pop star Michael Jackson and for inappropriate "crude and sexist" comments made about Sarah Palin and Asian-American journalists that led to his resignation from MSNBC and suspension from ABC.
The spokesperson for the BBC added "As people know, Martin Bashir is seriously unwell at the moment," and that "the BBC is being as open as we can be about events from a quarter of a century ago." They also claim to have at one point had proof that exonerates them from this accusation, being a "handwritten note from Princess Diana attested to the fact the princess had not seen the 'mocked-up' bank statements and that they played no part in her decision to give the interview", but "the BBC itself no longer possesses a physical copy of this note."
We will have to wait and see if Charles Spencer's demands are met.