Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer says he ‘draws a line’ between his sister’s Panorama interview and her death two years later.
An inquiry found the BBC covered up ‘deceitful behaviour’ used by journalist Martin Bashir to secure his headline-making world exclusive, and ‘fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency’.
In a new Panorama programme Mr Spencer said the interview contributed to Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris on August 31 1997.
The late royal and her lover Dodi Fayed both died when their car crashed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel as they were being pursued by the paparazzi.
‘The irony is that I met Martin Bashir on the 31st of August 1995, because exactly two years later she died, and I do draw a line between the two events,’ Earl said.
‘It’s quite clear from the introduction that I sat in on the 19th of September 1995 everyone was going to be made untrustworthy, and I think that Diana did lose trust in really key people.
Earl Spencer said Princess Diana’s Panorama interview contributed to her death (Picture: BBC)
Princess Diana was interviewed by Martin Bashir in 1995 (Picture: PA)
‘This is a young girl in her mid-30s who has lived this extraordinarily turbulent and difficult time in the public eye.
‘She didn’t know who to trust and in the end, when she died two years later, she was without any form of real protection.’
The BBC has written to the royal family to apologise for the circumstances surrounding the interview – in which Diana said: ‘Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded’ – and the corporation has returned the awards it received.
Bashir won a Bafta in 1996 for the interview.
‘The 1995 Panorama interview received a number of awards at the time,’ the corporation said.
‘We do not believe it is acceptable to retain these awards because of how the interview was obtained.’
Bafta said in a statement: ‘We understand and accept the BBC’s decision on returning awards for this programme.’
The corporation has also sent personal apologies to the Prince of Wales, the dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, and Diana’s brother.