MARTIN Bashir has said Princess Diana is to blame for the smears he was accused of peddling to secure his explosive interview with her.
The journalist is said to have tricked the royal into taking part in the 1995 Panorama chat, which disclosed intimate details of her marriage with Prince Charles.
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The interview came in the build up to the couple's divorce, with Diana famously revealing there were "three people" in their marriage.
But Mr Bashir, who is now the BBC's Religious Affairs editor, is accused of telling the princess a series of lies to secure the chat, namely that she was being spied on by intelligence agencies to feed her growing paranoia.
Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, says he noted down a series of claims which Bashir reportedly said during a meeting which all three of them attended on Sep 19, 1995.
But in leaked documents seen by The Telegraph, Mr Bashir reportedly says the comments made at the meeting were mistakenly attributed to him.
The emergence of Earl Spencer’s notes last November prompted the BBC to launch an internal inquiry run by Lord Dyson, into the methods used by Mr Bashir to obtain the interview.
Mr Bashir has remained silent on the matter so far, and until now, it has been unclear if he was cooperating with Lord Dyson.
The smears include an allegation that Prince Edward was being treated for Aids at a London hospital; the Queen had a heart problem and was going to abdicate; and that Prince Charles was ‘in love’ with his children’s nanny and went on holiday with her.
According to the notes, it was also claimed Prince Charles had given his son Prince William, then aged 13, a ‘special present’ of a ‘bleeping Swatch’, an inference that the Swiss-made watch contained a bugging device.
But it is understood that Mr Bashir has denied being the source of many of the smears, suggesting instead that Princess Diana was the source.
Mr Bashir has reportedly told Lord Dyson he would not have made up claims on a first meeting with Princess Diana that she could have checked, or made assertions about her while she was present.
In one note, Earl Spencer wrote: "Edward has AIDS? Royal Marsden Hospital. Queen ill: heart.”
Mr Bashir is understood to have told Lord Dyson that those claims – if checked by the Princess – would have exposed him as a complete fantasist at their first meeting and prevented any interview going ahead.
He instead insisted that such allegations were consistent with Princess Diana telling him on a later occasion that she spoke with mystics and clairvoyants who had given her the false information.
A clairvoyant also told Princess Diana that the Queen was going to abdicate, Mr Bashir is understood to have informed the inquiry.
Of another false claim – that the Prince of Wales was in love with Prince William and Prince Harry's nanny – Mr Bashir said it was hard to imagine that a BBC journalist would ever say that to Princess Diana on their first meeting.
It was more likely, he apparently speculated, that Princess Diana will have said that.
In the notes, Mr Bashir also told Princess Diana that three members of MI6 had met him four months earlier and that Richard Aylard, Prince Charles’s then private secretary, was “orchestrating everything”.
In another comment, the journalist is said to have claimed that MI6 had taped recordings of Prince Charles and Richard Aylard, uttering the remarks “in the end game”, a possible reference to the couple getting divorced.
Another said “Spencer family to be destroyed. D to go to States (+me).”
Bashir has reportedly told Dyson that it would be odd for him to be telling princess Diana on their first meeting to travel to the US.
Another note refers to a “difficult relationship with William for D., because of Tiggy. C’s in love with her".
Again, Mr Bashir is understood to have told the inquiry that it would not be his place to tell Princess Diana about her relationship with Prince William, The Telegraph reports.
The notes made by Earl Spencer have been submitted to the Dyson inquiry which is also investigating allegations that Bashir used deceit to trick Princess Diana into giving the interview, including forged bank statements to gain the trust of Earl Spencer.
The recent alleged comments from Mr Bashir are the first evidence of his response to allegations that he cheated and lied his way to the interview.
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