BBC apologises and pays substantial damages for Diana Panorama interview

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The BBC has paid Princess Diana's private secretary "substantial" damages as a result of the infamous Panorama interview.

The corporation announced it has paid Patrick Jephson a “substantial sum” in damages and has apologised “unreservedly” to him over the way Martin Bashir obtained his 1995 Panorama interview.

A BBC statement said: "The BBC and Commander Patrick Jephson have reached a settlement following publication of the Dyson Report.

"Commander Jephson was the Private Secretary to Diana, Princess of Wales. The BBC accepts and acknowledges that serious harm was caused to Commander Jephson as a result of the circumstances in which the 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales was obtained, which have become apparent as a result of the Dyson Report.

"The BBC apologises unreservedly to Commander Jephson for the harm caused to him and has paid his legal costs. The BBC has also paid Commander Jephson a substantial sum in damages, which he intends to donate in full to British charities nominated by him."

The People's Princess' bombshell interview with Martin Bashir in 1995 made headlines as she spoke publicly about her marriage with Prince Charles.

During the interview she said the infamous phrase: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded", referring to Charles' affair with Camilla.

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In May last year, the BBC was criticised by an inquiry that found it fell short of "high standards of integrity and transparency" over the interview.

Bashir acted in a "deceitful" way and faked documents to obtain the interview, the inquiry said.

And the BBC's own internal probe in 1996 into what happened was "woefully ineffective", it added.

The BBC and Bashir both apologised and the BBC also wrote to Princes Charles, William and Harry.

The corporation said the report showed "clear failings", admitting it should have made more effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time.

Bashir said mocking up the documents "was a stupid thing to do" and he regretted it, but said they had had no bearing on Diana's decision to be interviewed.

  • Princess Diana
  • BBC
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