A friend of Princess Diana has claimed the late royal would still be alive if she hadn’t dismissed her own royal protection officers after being shown alleged "false evidence" presented to her by the BBC.
Bombshell claims have been made that Martin Bashir showed the late Princess false bank statements ahead of his infamous 1995 BBC Panorama interview with her – with the statements allegedly prompting Diana to sack her personal protection officers over fears royal staff were spying on her.
Now Tina Brown – a former editor of Vanity Fair and friend of the late Princess – claims that the fake documents sparked a series of events that resulted in her death at the age of 36 in 1997.
Ms Brown alleges that the false bank statement incident directly resulted in her dismissing her royal protection officers – who, she thinks, would have averted her fatal car crash in Paris.
Ms Brown told the Express: "She had wilfully decided that she did not want any of the royal protection officers with her because she thought they were spying on her – probably thanks to Martin Bashir.
"She was at the mercy of a drunken off-duty driver who was working for (Mohamed Al) Fayed. If she had had that one thing, a royal protection officer, she'd still be alive today.
"He would never ever have driven in that way, in that reckless fashion, it just wouldn't have happened.
"There's just no way she'd be dead if she'd had a royal protection officer with her that night."
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A graphic designer named Matt Wiessler, who worked on the 1995 Panorama interview, has claimed Mr Bashir – who interviewed Diana on camera – asked him to draft fake bank statements showing fake payments to royal employees.
While the Daily Mail has also suggested that Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, claimed Mr Bashir manipulated the Princess’s paranoia to win her trust and for her to agree to be interviewed by him.
The Mirror reports that the BBC had released a handwritten note from Diana that allegedly absolves Bashir of using false documents to get to interview her.
Reports have claimed the BBC will hand over the note to investigators.
However, the Beeb had previously failed to release the note following a Freedom of Information request in 2007.
The broadcaster has claimed the note proves Diana had not seen the allegedly faked bank statement documents before the 1995 interview took place – and claims the false documents did not influence her decision to participate in the landmark interview.
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General of the BBC has said of the allegations about fake documents: “The BBC is taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth. We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation.”
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