Princess Diana's interview with Martin Bashir will not face criminal investigation, police say

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Police announced on Wednesday that it will not launch a criminal investigation into BBC reporter Martin Bashir’s 1995 interview with Princess Diana.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed the news after officials looked into Lord Dyson’s report into the 1995 documentary that featured Bashir’s sit-down with the late British royal.

“In March 2021, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) determined it was not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into allegations of unlawful activity in connection with a documentary broadcast in 1995,” the statement begins.

“Following the publication of Lord Dyson’s report in May, specialist detectives assessed its contents and looked carefully at the law – once again obtaining independent legal advice from Treasury Counsel as well as consulting the Crown Prosecution Service.

“As a result, the MPS has not identified evidence of activity that constituted a criminal offence and will therefore be taking no further action,” the statement concludes.

The police previously said it did not plan on launching a criminal investigation into the interview but did confirm it was looking into Lord Dyson’s report after it was published.

Back in May, Bashir said he was “deeply sorry” following the bombshell report that he used “deceitful behavior” to secure a 1995 BBC interview with Diana. However, he denies that the interview was responsible for any harm towards the late royal

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program Panorama in 1995. 
((Photo by © Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images))

“I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did,” the journalist told the Sunday Times. “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.”

The report concluded that Bashir “commissioned fake bank statements” that allowed him to get access to Diana by deceiving her brother, Charles Spencer, to arrange a meeting in which Diana was later persuaded to take part in the 1995 interview. 

“This behaviour was in serious breach of the 1993 edition of the BBC’s Producer Guidelines on straight dealing,” former High Court Judge Lord Dyson said.

Bashir has admitted to showing Spencer the forged documents, for which he said he was “deeply sorry,” but claims had “no bearing” on Diana or the interview. 

In May, Martin Bashir said he was "deeply sorry" following the bombshell report that he used "deceitful behavior" to secure a the interview with Diana. He resigned from his role at the BBC. 
( (Photo by Fiona Hanson – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images))

Diana famously said during the interview that there were “three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” Following the revelations, Queen Elizabeth II issued a statement recommending Diana and Prince Charles seek a divorce. The marriage officially ended on August 28, 1996. On Aug. 31, 1997, Diana died in a car accident in Paris while being chased by the paparazzi.

Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, have both suggested Bashir’s interview directly contributed to the Princess of Wales’ untimely death. 

“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others,” Prince William previously said in a video statement. “It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her. But what saddens me most is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she’d been deceived.

Diana, Princess of Wales, died in August 1997 after sustaining injuries in a Paris car crash. 
((Photo by Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images))

Prince Harry echoed his brother’s comments in a separate statement, noting that the “ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.”

“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed,” Harry added. “By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”

While Bashir told the Times he “can’t imagine what their family must feel each day,” he rejected the Duke of Cambridge’s claim that the way the interview was obtained fueled Diana’s isolation and paranoia. 

“Even in the early 1990s, there were stories and secretly recorded phone calls,” Bashir said. “I wasn’t the source of any of that.” 

Bashir added he was a young man when the interview took place, and hopes that since he rejoined the BBC in 2016, he has “demonstrated higher levels of probity and integrity.”

Bashir has since stepped down from his role as the BBC’s editor of religion and issued a statement apologizing for his conduct. BBC’s director of news and current affairs at the time, Tony Hall, has also stepped aside following the investigation. 

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.

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