PRINCESS Diana was allegedly tricked into her Panorama interview with fake documents claiming royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke had an abortion, a judge leading an inquiry has reportedly heard.
According to reports last night, BBC reporter Martin Bashir showed her a forged “receipt” in a bid to sway her when she had last minute doubts about going through with the explosive TV chat.
Diana was reportedly convinced that Prince Charles wanted her and Camilla out of the way so he could marry Miss Legge-Bourke, who was William and Harry’s nanny.
It is claimed Diana also believed the nanny had become pregnant by Charles – and once allegedly even approached her at a party to whisper: “So sorry to hear about the baby”.
Allegations that Bashir presented Diana with counterfeit “proof” of the termination were made as a top judge collects evidence for a wide-ranging inquiry into the 1995 BBC interview, the Daily Mail reports.
It comes amid claims that:
- Mr Bashir is said to have tricked Princess Diana into taking part in the 1995 Panorama chat, in which she disclosed intimate details of her marriage with Prince Charles
- The journalist, who is now the BBC’s Religious Affairs editor, is accused of telling the princess a series of lies to secure the chat, including that she was being spied on by intelligence agencies
- Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, says he noted down a series of claims which Bashir reportedly said during a meeting which all three of them attended on September 19, 1995
- The emergence of his notes last November prompted the BBC to launch an internal inquiry into the methods used by Mr Bashir to obtain the interview
- But according to leaked documents seen by the Telegraph, Mr Bashir reportedly said some of the comments made during the meeting were mistakenly attributed to him – when in fact Diana said them
Retired Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson has so far interviewed 17 witnesses as he probes claims the broadcaster covered up Mr Bashir’s murky behaviour to get his landmark scoop.
The resulting Panorama interview included Diana’s famous line: “There were three of us in this marriage”.
It is now claimed Diana believed Charles wanted her murdered in order to marry Miss Legge-Bourke.
And she became so convinced by the fake claim the nanny was pregnant that the Queen’s private secretary – Diana’s brother-in-law Sir Robert Fellowes – launched an investigation.
Sources told the Mail that Lord Dyson has already begun writing his report – just four months after he was commissioned to do so.
It’s alleged the judge was told Diana had decided not to do the interview – before suddenly changing her mind after chats with Mr Bashir in the days before filming.
The false “proof” that Miss Legge-Bourke had terminated a pregnancy is said to have stoked Diana’s paranoia of a plot on her life and convinced her of the need to speak out.
Sources told the publication Lord Dyson will publish his report within six months of the probe beginning.
Meanwhile, sources have been busy briefing out Mr Bashir’s version of events before Lord Dyson issues his verdict.
One source said the former judge was “forensic” in his interviews.
They added: “He was exactly what you expect a wise judge to be – the best of British.”
The judge is considering evidence that Diana was stung into the Panorama interview by a series of lies.
Police have confirmed Mr Bashir won’t face a criminal probe over allegations he faked bank statements to secure the interview.
However, it’s alleged that one or two days after the interview was recorded, Diana raised her fears about an assassination plot with her lawyer, Lord Mishcon, at Kensington Palace.
The late Lord Mishcon made a detailed note, which was read out at her inquest.
It allegedly said Diana had been told that Miss Legge-Bourke had been “operated on for an abortion” and that she, Diana, would “soon be in receipt of ‘a certificate’.”
What did Princess Diana say during the Panorama interview?
The royal made a series of claims during the chat with Martin Bashir
- She admitted she’d had a liaison with James Hewitt, telling Mr Bashir their relationship had “gone beyond a close friendship”. “I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down,” she said
- She said Charles was “in love” with Camilla Parker-Bowles, telling Mr Bashir: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded”
- She confirmed she’d suffered post-natal depression after Prince William was born, and said: “You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn’t want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself”
- And she said she’d been suffering from an eating disorder, bulimia, telling the interviewer: “I was crying out for help, but giving the wrong signals, and people were using my bulimia as a coat on a hanger: they decided that was the problem – Diana was unstable”
The paper claims that Mr Bashir preyed on Diana’s greatest fears by telling her that Charles was “in love” with Miss Legge-Bourke.
He also allegedly told her that her bodyguard was plotting against her and MI6 had recorded Charles and his private secretary planning the “end game”, it’s claimed.
Mr Bashir is accused of lying to the princess that Charles and Miss Legge-Bourke had holidayed together in secret.
And the Mail claims that Diana had an attack of last-minute nerves and considered pulling out of the interview.
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But in a last-minute meeting with Mr Bashir and possibly a BBC executive in charge of Panorama, she was “fired up” – and decided to go ahead.
Mr Bashir, 59, who is on sick leave from the BBC, is believed to have told Lord Dyson it was Diana, rather than him, to blame for the vast majority of the shocking comments.
He apparently said many of the allegations were consistent with Diana telling him on a later occasion that she spoke with mystics and clairvoyants.