Martin Bashir “scared Diana half to death” by claiming he had contacts within MI5, royal biographer Andrew Morton has alleged.
As former Channel 4 news chief said, the BBC needs to look into how Martin Bashir has earned his other “bullets” after the damn report of how he ended up his interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
Mr Morton said Diana’s interview with Bashir was not a case of forbearance but “self-preservation” as she was placed in a state of fear and concern.
When asked if Bashir could have landed the interview if he hadn’t lied, Morton said, “He wouldn’t have got it, he scared her half to death.
He told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “He had her believe he had contacts within MI5, he was very plausible, he arranged meetings in underground car parks – scary places at the best of times, but when you think your life is in Danger it was very strong.
“She was put in a state of fear and apprehension.”
However, Morton said Diana eventually gave the interview to another journalist.
“There was no question at all, Diana would give her opinion,” added Morton.
He said, “A lot of what she said (during the interview) had been around before, but because it came out of her mouth, it seemed sensational, raw and new.”
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Bashir said he would “never harm Diana.”
He told the newspaper, “Everything we did about the interview was what she wanted, from the time she tried to alert the palace to the time it aired to its contents … My family and I loved her. “
And he defended his interview, saying, “One of the saddest things about it all was the way the content of what she said was almost ignored.”
However, he said he “deeply sorry” the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, but denies Williams’ allegation that he fueled their isolation and paranoia.
And he said he “never wanted to harm Diana, Princess of Wales” during the Panorama interview, adding, “I don’t think we did that.”
Meanwhile, former Channel 4 news chief said the revelations in Lord Dyson’s report that Bashir used “fraudulent behavior” to secure his exclusive 1995 Panorama interview were “scandalous.”
Dorothy Byrne told Sky Phillips’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday program that the BBC and ITV should now watch other stories Bashir made available to them.
Ms. Byrne said: “Other people interviewed by Martin Bashir have complained that he lied to them, and we know the BBC wrote a formal letter to ITV about his behavior in several stories.
“So I think both the BBC and ITV need to look at all of their scoops.”
Bashir left the BBC in 1999, four years after his interview with Diana, to join ITV.
In 2016, he was reinstated as the BBC’s religious affairs correspondent before becoming religious editor – a role he resigned from this month due to illness.