An internal investigation concluded that a BBC journalist committed “dishonest behavior” to secure an interview with Princess Diana in 1995, in a “grave breach” of BBC rules.
Retired judge John Dyson, who was appointed by the BBC in November to lead the investigation, said the public station “fell short of the expected high standards of integrity and transparency”.
The investigation sought to clarify accusations made by Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, that journalist Martin Bashir used forged documents and other maneuvers to persuade Diana to accept the interview. Spencer alleged that Al-Bashir had exposed false bank statements relating to his sister’s former private secretary and another former member of the royal family in order to gain access to the princess.
The interview, in which Diana said the well-known phrase “There were three of us at this wedding” – referring to Prince Carlos’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles – was watched by millions of viewers and shook the monarchy.
BBC President Richard Sharp said on Thursday that the company had accepted the results of the investigation, adding that “there are unacceptable failures.”
BBC Director John Burt apologized to Charles Spencer in a statement at the time of the interview, which was broadcast as part of the “Panorama” program. He wrote: “We now know that the BBC has hosted an dishonest reporter at Panorama who has invented a detailed and detailed, but completely incorrect, testimony of his relationships with Count Spencer and Princess Diana,“ the BBC with the honest press. ”He added,“ It is a pity. It took 25 years for the whole truth to emerge. “