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Princess Diana’s key causes receive $1.6 million donation from BBC amid ‘deceitful’ interview


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Some of Princess Diana’s closest causes are receiving a payout from the BBC.

On Friday, the British broadcaster made a $1.6 million donation following an investigation by former British Supreme Court Judge John Dyson. It found that “deceitful methods” were used to secure a 1995 interview with the late royal for the show “Panorama.”

The money amounts to the proceeds that the BBC amassed from selling the televised tell-all around the world. It was divided equally between Centrepoint, English National Ballet, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, The Leprosy Mission, National Aids Trust, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Diana Award.

“The BBC has indicated its intention to donate to charity the sales proceeds derived from the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales,” the BBC announced. “The BBC has now done so. Given the findings of Lord Dyson, we think this is the right and appropriate course of action.”

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Princess Diana's first solo trip after separating from Prince Charles was to Nepal. Here, she visited a leprosy hospital and interacted with the patients.

Princess Diana’s first solo trip after separating from Prince Charles was to Nepal. Here, she visited a leprosy hospital and interacted with the patients.
(Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Leprosy Mission’s chief executive Peter Waddup said that the donation, which is around $250,000, will continue to help keep Diana’s legacy alive.

“Princess Diana is someone held in the highest regard by people affected by leprosy today,” he said. “She was the world’s most photographed woman and made headlines by holding the hands of leprosy patients. This had an unquantifiable impact in quashing some of the terrible and unfounded stigma surrounding leprosy.”

Wayne Bulpitt CBE, Chair of Trustees at The Diana Award, said the funds they received will go directly toward their work improving the mental health of young people. The charity is supported by Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

“As a charity, we depend on public funds to help us achieve our mission, and we are grateful to the BBC for this donation which will go a long way to helping further our work,” he said.

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Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program ‘Panorama’.

Martin Bashir interviews Princess Diana in Kensington Palace for the television program ‘Panorama’.
(Photo by Pool Photograph)

The BBC’s recent donation is noted as the latest in a lengthy line of settlements. In July, William and Harry’s former nanny, Tiggy Pettifer, received a “substantial” sum. The inquiry found that Martin Bashir, who interviewed Diana for the program, manipulated the princess into believing that Pettifer was having an affair with Prince Charles. Bashir produced fake bank statements to support his claim.

In a statement read in court, Pettifer’s solicitor Louise Prince said the claims had included “the very serious and totally unfounded allegations that the claimant was having an affair with HRH Prince of Wales, resulting in a pregnancy which was aborted. These allegations were fabricated.”

Diana’s former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, received an “unreserved” apology for the “serious harm” caused by Bashir. He donated the damages to charity.

Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has called upon the police to continue investigating the matter. In an op-ed written for The Mail on Sunday, Spencer said Bashir manipulated him to get close to his sister. William and Harry have also strongly criticized the BBC for its shortcomings.

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Princess Diana's interview with Martin Bashir stirred headlines around the world. Prince William and his brother Prince Harry have issued strongly-worded statements criticizing the BBC and British media for unethical practices after an investigation found that Bashir used "deceitful behavior" to secure the explosive sit-down.

Princess Diana’s interview with Martin Bashir stirred headlines around the world. Prince William and his brother Prince Harry have issued strongly-worded statements criticizing the BBC and British media for unethical practices after an investigation found that Bashir used “deceitful behavior” to secure the explosive sit-down.
(Martin Cleaver)

In the interview, a major scoop for Bashir, Diana famously said that “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Her candid account of her failing marriage with the Prince of Wales was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy.

The BBC has already paid damages to Diana’s former aide, as well as a former BBC producer who was dismissed after he alerted editors to faked documents that Bashir used to gain access to Diana.

Bashir has since stepped down from his role as the BBC’s editor of religion and issued a statement apologizing for his conduct. BBC’s director of news and current affairs at the time, Tony Hall, has also stepped aside following the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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