"The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life."

Olivia Harvey
May 21, 2021 @ 2:17 pm
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Prince Harry and Prince William
Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo, Getty Images

Yesterday, May 20th, the BBC revealed after a six-month investigation that journalist Martin Bashir used "deceitful methods" to secure the now-infamous interview with Princess Diana in 1995. Diana's sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, released statements shortly after the findings were made public stating that Bashir's interview is directly linked to her tragic death in 1997.

The newly released report proves that Bashir manipulated Diana into the interview, in which she famously claimed there were three people in her marriage, referring to Camilla Bowles, thus leading to the queen ordering Diana and Charles to officially divorce. Bashir did so forging bank statements to gain the trust of Diana's brother Charles Spencer in order to secure the sit-down with the Princess of Wales. And it was this "exploitation," Harry argued in a statement publicly released yesterday, that led to Diana's death.

"Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service," Harry said. "She was resilient, brave and unquestionably honest. The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life."

He continued, "To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it. That is the first step towards justice and truth. Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these—and even worse—are still widespread today. Then, and now, it's bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication."

"Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed," Harry said. "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,"

Brother Prince William also issued a statement in response to the BBC's findings, calling the facts "extremely concerning." He continued, "It is my view that the deceitful way that the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said."

"The interview was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse, and has since hurt countless others," William continued. "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 she had been deceived," he said, referencing the shoddy investigation into the interview in 1996. "She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders of the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions."

Both Bashir and BBC have both apologized for the interview, with Bashir admitting to the BBC that creating false documents was "a stupid thing to do," but adding that doing so did not sway Diana's decision in any way to do the interview, citing her 1995 letter to him that stated she had "no regrets" about sitting down with him.

Bashir told the BBC that he remains "immensely proud" of the interview.