When Martin Bashir interviewed Princess Diana for BBC's Panorama back in 1995 the journalist and reporter shot to fame. The bombshell interview was watched by millions and included intimate details of the Princess' marriage to Prince Charles. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded," she famously said. Twenty-five years later, Bashir has come under fire after the late princess' brother Earl Spencer claimed the reporter showed him fake bank statements to gain his and Diana's trust. Following ITV's recent two-part documentary, The Diana Interview: Revenge of a Princess, the BBC has confirmed further inquiries will be made, which Prince William has "tentatively welcomed", too. But where is Martin Bashir now?
What happened with the "false" claims and fake bank statements?
In late October, Lord Spencer shared his notes from meeting Bashir back in 1995 to the Mail. Spencer claims the journalist made a string of false claims during a meeting with him in order to secure the interview. Per Sky News, these included "allegations that Diana was under surveillance" and "that her bodyguard was plotting against her."
On Nov. 8, the BBC said it would lead a "robust inquiry" into allegations made by Princess Diana's brother Earl Spencer about journalist Martin Bashir. "The BBC has made clear it will investigate the issues raised and that this will be independent. We will set out the terms of reference in due course. We will do everything possible to get to the bottom of this," it said in a statement.
On Nov. 18, it was announced that former Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson will lead the investigation. The BBC's director general, Tim Davie, said of the news: "The BBC is determined to get to the truth about these events and that is why we have commissioned an independent investigation. Lord Dyson is an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process."
Prince William made a rare personal statement on the inquiry, too. "The independent investigation is a step in the right direction,” the statement released by Kensington Palace read. "It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time."
The BBC has already apologised for Bashir faking two bank statements to help land his exclusive, although these played "no part in [Diana's] decision to take part in the interview," per BBC News.
What are Martin Bashir's current circumstances?
Bashir has yet to respond to the allegations due to being "seriously unwell" the BBC confirmed. "Martin Bashir is signed off work by his doctors as he is currently recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery and has significant complications from having contracted COVID-19 earlier in the year," the broadcaster said in a statement. However, the 57-year-old was recently spotted at a takeaway and wine shop by The Mail On Sunday.
Why does everyone want to hear from Martin Bashir?
Fifty-year-old Martin Bashir is currently BBC's News religion editor. The scandal has prompted a questions about the corporation's investigative journalism practices. It has since caught the attention of Downing Street — the Prime Minister's spokesperson said on Nov. 10 that the investigation "is the right course of action. As a public service broadcaster, we expect BBC journalists to adhere to the highest standards.'
Tory MP Julian Knight, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, also commented:"This is a very complex and deeply disturbing tale and it is important for public confidence in BBC journalism that a thorough, urgent and independent investigation is carried out and my committee will be watching developments very closely indeed."
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