Princess Diana agreed to Martin Bashir interview because ‘she knew it was the only way the royal family would agree to a divorce’, according to her former lover Hasnat Khan
- Princess Diana’s ex-boyfriend claims late royal wanted a divorce from Charles
- Added royal family wouldn’t agree to it so she did infamous Bashir interview
- Khan told journalist Richard Kay that Diana knew royals would push for divorce after scandalous interview where she admitted to adultery
Princess Diana agreed to Martin Bashir’s now infamous Panorama interview because she knew it was the only way the royal family would agree to let her divorce Prince Charles, her ex-boyfriend Hasnat Khan has said.
In Diana, a 90-minute documentary which aired last night on ITV, journalist and friend of the late royal, Richard Kay revealed that the heart surgeon – who dated Diana from 1995 to 1997 – recently told him the late royal spoke to the BBC because she ‘knew how the royal family would react’.
‘We all know that Diana was tricked or fed things, but I learned something quite interesting recently and that came from Haznat Khan,’ he explained.
‘He told me, she said, “I know how the Royals react to this. I know what they’ll do”. And she said, “there will now be a divorce”.
‘That’s what Diana wanted, she wanted to divorce, but she didn’t want to be seen to be pushing for divorce,’ he added.
Princess Diana agreed to Martin Bashir’s now infamous Panorama interview because she knew it was the only way the royal family would agree to let her divorce Prince Charles, her ex-boyfriend Hasnat Khan has said. Diana and Bashir are pictured during the interivew
In the 1995 Panorama interview, filmed at Kensington Palace, Diana admitted to adultery and said there were ‘three of them’ in her marriage – referring to Camilla Parker Bowles. Charles and Diana divorced a year later, after separating in 1992.
The documentary has been released to mark what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday, and sees friends and royal experts share their insights on the late royal.
It draws on never-heard-before testimony and rarely-seen archive footage to illustrate the most famous moments of the mother-of-two’s life – from her teenage years as a Pimlico nursery assistant to finding her voice as the Princess of Wales.
Kay – who was Diana’s final phone call before her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997 – also revealed her thoughts on her last day alive, saying that she was looking forward to a ‘fresh start’.
‘I felt she was in a good place and was desperate for a fresh start and to do something different and explore a new kind of royalty,’ he said.
‘And she wanted to come back [to London] and see her boys’.
Diana spent most of the last two years of her life in a relationship with Dr Hasnat Khan (pictured) a British-Pakistani heart surgeon, who she met in London.
The documentary has been released to mark what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday, and sees friends and royal experts share their insights on the late royal
Jemima Khan, pictured with Diana in Pakistan in 1997, said the Princess went to the country to secretly meet Hasnat Khan’s family and discuss the possibility of marriage
Timeline of the Diana-Panorama scandal
1986: Martin Bashir joins BBC as news correspondent and works on programs including Songs of Praise, Public Eye and Panorama.
November 1995: The famous interview with Princess Diana turns Mr Bashir into TV’s hottest property.
1996: The Mail on Sunday reveals claims that Mr Bashir used faked bank documents to persuade Diana to talk. The BBC holds internal inquiry dismissed as a ‘whitewash’.
1999: Moves to ITV’s Tonight with Trevor McDonald. His scoops include interview with Stephen Lawrence suspects and documentary on Michael Jackson.
May 2004: Quits to host ABC’s Nightline in US. Suspended in 2008 after making ‘Asian babes’ remark at Asian American Journalists convention.
2010: Joins NBC News as an MSNBC anchor. He resigns in 2013 after controversial remarks about vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
2016: BBC re-hires Mr Bashir as religious affairs correspondent. He is later promoted to religion editor.
October 2020: Channel 4 documentary alleges there was ‘elaborate plot’ by Mr Bashir to trick Diana into talking.
November 7: The Daily Mail reveals a shocking dossier held by Diana’s brother Earl Spencer revealing alleged royal smears, lies and tricks that Mr Bashir used to land his interview.
November 18: BBC orders six-month inquiry by former judge Lord Dyson.
May 14, 2021: The BBC announces Mr Bashir has handed in his notice on health grounds.
Bashir resigned as the BBC’s religion editor in mid-May, days before the release of an excoriating report into his conduct by Lord Dyson.
Dyson said Bashir forged bank statements and lied to persuade the late Princess to sit for the historic interview, and that the BBC covered up the scandal for years afterwards.
At the time, the interview was dubbed ‘the scoop of the century,’ revealing Diana’s affair, bulimia, and her description of a ‘crowded’ marriage to the Queen’s son, Prince Charles.
But those secrets, Dyson’s report says, were all obtained through a series of lies and manipulations.
Dyson wrote that Bashir ‘commissioned fake bank statements’ and ‘deceived and induced’ Diana’s brother Charles Spencer to arrange a meeting with the princess.
Lord Dyson’s damning report found Bashir told Diana she was being spied on and that Prince Charles was having an affair with Tiggy Legge-Bourke, Harry and William’s nanny.
The allegedly forged bank statements he used to persuade her brother purported to show payments from Rupert Murdoch-owned media company News International to an offshore firm owned by Spencer’s former employee.
The claimed forgery used Diana’s paranoia that she was being spied on, betrayed, and should be fearful for her life.
The revelations from Bashir’s interview sent shockwaves across the world and led to the princess being ‘cast adrift’, left to fend for herself outside the royal circle.
Two years later she died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel while being chased by paparazzi.
Last month, Prince William blasted the ‘lurid and false claims’ Bashir made to get the interview with his late mother.
The Duke of Cambridge said the lies about the Royal Family ‘played on her fears and fuelled paranoia,’ while his brother Harry said the probe was the ‘first step towards justice’ for their mother.
The London Metropolitan Police said they will ‘assess the contents’ of Lord Dyson’s report to check for ‘significant new evidence’.
Scotland Yard previously decided not to begin a criminal investigation into alleged unlawful activity in connection with the 1995 broadcast.
Bashire, a former MSNBC anchor had won a number of awards for his work and collected a BAFTA for the sit-down
Diana spent most of the last two years of her life in a relationship with Dr Hasnat Khan, a British-Pakistani heart surgeon, who she met in London.
The couple split a few months before her death, and Diana dated Dodi Fayed, who died in the same car crash as her months later.
During her two-year relationship with the doctor, Diana visited Pakistan three times, met Dr Khan’s parents and considered moving to the south Asian country.
She also confided in her friend Jemima Goldsmith who was married to Pakistani cricket legend – now Prime Minster – Imran Khan, about her relationship – particularly asking advice on coping with cultural differences between the two women and their partners.
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