The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is trying to right the wrongs involved in Princess Diana‘s bombshell 1995 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir.
In a new update, the broadcasting network released a statement offering an apology to Diana’s private secretary Patrick Jephson for all the trouble caused by the unethical interview.
BBC’s Martin Bashir Manipulated Princess Diana Into Taking Interview
Per People Magazine, on Thursday, BBC shared a statement apologizing “unreservedly” to Jephson for the “serious harm” caused by Bashir in securing the headline-making interview.
As you might know, the 1995 interview where the late Diana opened up about her tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles did quite a number on the Royal Family.
At the time, Diana claimed there were “three of us” in her marriage to Charles — referring to Camilla Parker Bowles. The people’s princess also dished on her struggle with bulimia and mental health in the royal household.
Diana’s interview made such waves and decades later resonated with the public when her daughter-in-law Meghan Markle shared similar revelations during a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey.
However, following the uproar from Harry and Meghan’s interview, Sunday Times launched an investigation into the 1995 Panorama Interview and discovered Bashir manipulated the former Princess of Wales with two false bank statements.
With pressure from the Spencer family, BBC commissioned an independent inquiry into Bashir’s antics with the help of High Court judge Lord John Dyson and he was found guilty.
Lord Dyson ruled that Bashir used “deceitful methods” to secure a sit-down with the late royal. The shamed journalist released a statement after the investigation, saying:
I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did. Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents. I can’t imagine what their family must feel each day.
Princess Diana’s Private Secretary Receives Hefty Damages
As part of fixing the wrongs, BBC has paid several financial damages to those who were involved in the interview.
Diana’s secretary Jephson was paid “a substantial sum in damages” by BBC as compensation. The corporation shared that it “accepts and acknowledges that serious harm was caused to Commander Jephson as a result of the circumstances in which the 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales was obtained.”
Jephson is set to donate all the money paid to British charities of his choice. As stated earlier, Jephson isn’t the only staff of Diana’s that was paid for damages.
Last year September, a former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke was allegedly paid “significant” damages after an investigation revealed that Bashir lied to Diana that Legge-Bourke was for Charles, providing a fake abortion receipt as proof.
The former royal staff reportedly received over $137,400 from BBC.
A Controversial Payment To Graphic Designer
Among the several payments BBC has made to wronged parties involved in the interview, one particular compensation has been whirled in controversy.
As The Blast previously reported, last October a graphic designer named Matt Wiessler who worked with BBC was paid a large sum.
Wiessler’s compensation raised eyebrows as he was the designer who worked with Bashir to create the false bank statements used to blackmail Diana.
However, Wiessler had seemingly tried to come clean about the crime to executives at BBC right after the interview aired, but his allegations were brushed aside.
Following the investigations that exposed the broadcasting corporation and Bashir, Wiessler decided to try to clear his good name and sued BBC for personal defamation due to his involvement in the interview.
Wiessler won the case and received an undisclosed amount of damages. According to his lawyer, “Mr. Wiessler is relieved that the BBC has now matched the Director General’s fulsome apologies with appropriate financial compensation for the wrongs done to him and the profound impact they had on his and his family’s life.”