PRINCESS Diana burst into tears after secretly listening in to a phone call in which disgraced Martin Bashir heaped scorn on her, sobbing: “How could he be like that?”
The five-minute call to Kensington Palace — in which Bashir crudely demanded to know the princess’s whereabouts and which boyfriends she was meeting in private — left her friendship with the BBC journalist in tatters.
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Diana burst into tears after secretly listening in to a phone call in which disgraced Martin Bashir heaped scorn on herCredit: PA
The call, in which Bashir crudely demanded to know the princess’s whereabouts and which boyfriends she was meeting in private, left her friendship with him in tattersCredit: AP
Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell told The Sun on Sunday: ‘Martin at the time would ring me every week and try, in vain, to get information out of me about Diana’s movements’Credit: Rex Features
Revealing for the first time the details of the 1996 conversation, he said it was the moment Diana decided to cut her poisonous former ally out of her life.
Paul told The Sun on Sunday: “Martin at the time would ring me every week and try, in vain, to get information out of me about Diana’s movements.
“I never told him anything because it was more than my job was worth. But he was always trying to win me over.
“When he rang that day the princess had just come home, and I kept him on the line in case she wanted to talk to him.
“I remember him asking ‘Is she keeping you busy, is she running your legs off as usual?’
“I heard her steps coming towards my pantry, and as she came in she mouthed ‘Who is it?’
“I mouthed ‘Martin’ and she went: ‘Shh’ and put her ear next to mine.
Paul said Diana had wanted to help Bashir and ‘had given him a career-making world exclusive, but she realised all he wanted was to squeeze as much as he could out of her’Credit: Getty
“Martin was being very disrespectful, everything was ‘she’ this and ‘she’ that.
“He was asking where she was and ‘Has she been out with one of her boyfriends again?’
“He also spoke as if she was flighty.
“He was complaining she wasn’t taking his calls and wasn’t sharing as much with him as he wanted her to. It was a very uncomfortable moment.
“Diana was looking at me like, ‘Oh my God, is this how he speaks to you about me?’ She was seeing a different side to him and she was shocked, absolutely gobsmacked by his irreverence.
“Whenever he addressed her in person he was always very polite and would call her ‘Your Royal Highness’. This was, to her, like listening to a different person.
“After I put the phone down, she looked distraught and she said to me, ‘How could he be like that?’
“I knew from the look she gave me then that the tide was turned.
“I knew that was the end of her friendship with Martin. Then she burst into tears and ran out of the room. She was really hurt and she did feel betrayed by him.
“She had wanted to help him, she had given him a career-making world exclusive. But she realised all he wanted was to squeeze as much as he could out of her.”
Paul — Diana’s butler from 1987 to 1997 — first met Bashir when he was asked to collect the reporter from his BBC office in White City and drive him to Kensington Palace under a pile of coats.
And he told how Bashir secured his explosive Panorama interview with the princess in 1995 after exploiting her generosity, claiming he was struggling for money.
Paul said: ‘That was the thing with Diana, loyalty was everything’Credit: Rex
Di ‘speech’ cash
SHAMED Martin Bashir last night faced another scandal after it was alleged he was paid by Princess Diana for writing her speeches.
It is claimed she paid him using cash raised by selling her old clothes — and he allegedly accepted it in breach of BBC rules.
Diana’s ex-butler Paul Burrell, 62, said Bashir wrote “between six to ten speeches” for her.
He said: “Diana told me she paid him to do that job. She would never have expected him to do it for nothing.”
He believes the cash came from selling off her unwanted outfits
Mr Bashir said: “I was honoured to write speeches for the Princess. I never received any payment.”
He revealed: “She said to me after the interview that Martin was not appreciated by the BBC, but that she did appreciate him, and she wanted to help him.
“Her words were ‘He’s not got much money, he’s struggling, he needs help up the ladder and I can do that for him’.
“She said his career had previously been stalling at the BBC. She had been taken in by him and she wanted to help.
“Diana was a generous person, and she loved to support the underdog. Martin, as far as she was concerned, was an underdog who needed support.
“She didn’t realise that she had been conned by him.”
The bombshell interview, in which Diana said ‘There were three people in our marriage” sent shock waves around the world.
She remained close to Bashir in the months following the broadcast.
She commissioned him to write as many as ten speeches, and agreed to a joint book project with publishers Random House, intended to be about her charitable work.
The book was expected to make up to £3million in profits, with Bashir taking £100,000 for his cut.
But after listening to him bombarding butler Paul with crude questions about her personal life, Diana abruptly pulled out.
Paul said: ‘Diana was a generous person, and she loved to support the underdog. Martin, as far as she was concerned, was an underdog who needed support’
Paul added: ‘By January 1997 she had cut him out of her life completely and they never spoke to each other again as far as I am aware’
Crown to snub Will over chat
THE next season of The Crown will feature Martin Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana — in a move likely to further anger Prince William.
The hit Netflix series will dramatise the disgraced reporter’s 1995 BBC showpiece which he secured by forging bank statements.
A source close to the show told The Daily Telegraph that “scripts are already out there”.
But William has said the interview should never be aired again.
Royal expert Ingrid Seward said the prince may take legal action to make sure the footage is not repeated or dramatised by anyone.
William has publicly blasted the BBC over the interview and has made it clear to senior royals and advisers he does not want Netflix commercially exploiting it.
In a statement after Lord Dyson’s damning report into the Panorama documentary, William said: “It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialised by the BBC and others.
“This Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again.”
Paul said: “She stopped answering the phone to him, and any meetings, such as his visit to the palace with his children in November, were very brief.
“By January 1997 she had cut him out of her life completely and they never spoke to each other again as far as I am aware.
“That was the thing with Diana, loyalty was everything.”
Lord Hall tech role
FORMER BBC boss Tony Hall has cashed in with a prized job at a Silicon Valley tech company.
The former director- general, 70, is a member of the advisory board.
The peer was hired to improve streaming services for clients.
The firm has a European base in Reading, Berks.
He also has a paid role at documentary maker Harder Than You Think.
The Dyson report criticised Lord Hall over his investigation into the 1995 Panorama interview.
He resigned from the National Gallery last weekend after its release.