Royal biographer slams Martin Bashir for ‘brazen slander’ of Princess Diana over catalogue of smears he allegedly spun to clinch infamous Panorama interview
- Biographer Sally Bedell Smith said she is appalled by Martin Bashir Diana claims
- Is was alleged Mr Bashir peddled 32 smears to secure 1995 interview with Diana
- But it was reported that Mr Bashir said comments were actually told by princess
A respected Royal biographer has condemned Martin Bashir for blaming Princess Diana for the catalogue of smears that he allegedly spun to clinch his infamous Panorama interview with her.
Sally Bedell Smith, who published a best-selling biography of the Princess of Wales, said she was ‘appalled’ that Mr Bashir has reportedly suggested that Diana was the source of a string of lies about the Royal Family and senior courtiers.
It was alleged last year that Mr Bashir peddled 32 smears to secure his sensational interview in 1995, detailed in notes made by Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, from a meeting that all three attended.
Yesterday it was reported that Mr Bashir has denied inventing the lies and told an official inquiry that most of the comments attributed to him were actually made by the Princess
It was alleged last year that Mr Bashir peddled 32 smears to secure his sensational interview in 1995
They are said to detail how the BBC journalist falsely claimed that the Princess’s private correspondence was being opened, her car tracked and her phone tapped. The records also suggest that he falsely claimed that the Queen had heart problems and that Prince Edward was having treatment for Aids.
Yesterday it was reported that Mr Bashir, now the BBC’s Religion Editor, has denied inventing the lies and told an official inquiry that most of the comments attributed to him were actually made by the Princess.
He is also said to have told Lord Dyson, the former Supreme Court judge heading the probe, that such allegations were consistent with Diana telling him that she spoke to ‘mystics’ who had given her false information.
But former New York Times reporter Ms Bedell Smith, 72, who has also written biographies of the Queen and Prince Charles, lambasted the journalist for blaming the late Princess.
‘What Mr Bashir has said is brazen and I find it appalling that after all these years he would contradict something that Charles Spencer wrote at some length at the time and that accurately depicted what went on,’ she said. ‘This is a real calumny against Diana that she is not around to defend.’
The BBC declined to comment and a spokesman said that Mr Bashir ‘won’t be making any public statements while the investigation is ongoing’.