We will always be left with this feeling with Lady Diana Spencer that we were (collectively) like the Butler trying to find out about her by looking through the proverbial keyhole

What Princess Diana’s Ex-Boyfriend Hasnat Khan Has Revealed About the BBC Interview Controversy

The usually press-shy heart surgeon, who dated Diana from 1995 to 1997, has spoken out with more information about how Martin Bashir secured the famous Panorama interview.

BY ERIN VANDERHOOFJANUARY 12, 2021

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BY STAN KARCZMARZ/GETTY IMAGES. 

Though she likely did not know it at the time, September 1995 was one of the most important months of Princess Diana’s life. Nearly three years had passed since she had separated from Prince Charles, and though the divorce had not yet been finalized, she was already making a name for herself as a world-traveling humanitarian. That fall, two chance meetings would put her on a different path. On September 19, her brother Charles Spencer introduced her to Martin Bashir, a BBC journalist who claimed to have explosive information about press intrusion into her private life.

A few weeks earlier, Diana had visited a friend’s husband at the Royal Brompton Hospital, where he was recovering from surgical complications. While she was there, she met heart surgeon Hasnat Khan and was quickly smitten. Over the next few weeks she visited the hospital on multiple occasions, and in mid-September the two went on a date. Though the surgeon was busy working 90-hour weeks, over the next few months they embarked on a relationship that would ultimately last nearly two years, ending only five weeks before Diana’s tragic death in August 1997.

While she was getting to know Khan, Diana sat down for an interview with Bashir that was a bombshell at the time and has since become the subject of intense scrutiny, and an ongoing internal investigation at the BBC. Charles Spencer has alleged that Bashir showed a fake bank statement and liedabout impropriety among the family’s staff in an attempt to get closer to Diana. And now Khan, who has remained a largely private figure despite his relationship with one of the most famous women in the world, is telling his side of the story in a rare interview with the Daily Mail. He agrees with Spencer that Bashir used deceitful tactics to secure the interview with the princess, but also gives his own insight into Diana’s friendship with Bashir— and how it ended.

Spencer has said he was caught off guard by the Panorama interview because he decided that Bashir seemed untrustworthy after their initial meeting, adding that he did not know that Diana’s contact with Bashir persisted afterward until the interview was announced in mid-November. In his recent interview, Khan said that in the early weeks of their relationship, Diana was frequently speaking with a “mole” she called Dr. Jarman, and that he eventually realized she was actually speaking to Bashir.ADVERTISEMENT

“One of her most attractive qualities was her vulnerability. It was what endeared her to the public,” Khan said. “I later realized that Martin picked on those vulnerabilities and exploited them. He was very persuasive with Diana. It was all about him being from the BBC, being respectable, and very pious even. But he filled her head with rubbish, such as that stuff about the nanny Tiggy [Legge-Bourke] being pregnant with Charles’s child.”

Later accounts have painted a mixed picture of Diana’s life in the fall of 1995. She was falling in love with Khan and truly embracing her independence from the palace, but at the same time, she was growing increasingly paranoid about the press and what she felt was unfair intrusion by her in-laws.

“She told me that whatever she did, she always knew how the courtiers at Buckingham Palace would retaliate,” Khan said of the period leading up to the interview. “She said she knew how the Duke of Edinburgh would react and the same applied to the Prince of Wales. The only person she didn’t mention was [Queen Elizabeth], and I never once heard her utter a word of criticism of her.”

Khan told the Mail that Diana continued to be friendly with Bashir after the interview aired on November 20, adding that he visited a pub with Diana and the reporter in January 1996. “Almost from the word go, he started asking me the most direct personal questions about Diana and our relationship. Why didn’t we get married? When were we going to get married? That kind of thing,” Khan said. “It was intimate stuff.”

The continuing friendship between Diana and Bashir might explain one of the oddities of the original investigation into Bashir’s alleged misconduct. The BBC began to investigate Bashir soon after the Diana interview aired, over the allegations of forged bank documents. When the controversy about the interview erupted again last year, the corporation said that during its original investigation, it received a letter from Diana saying that she hadn’t been coerced into the interview, supposedly clearing Bashir of wrongdoing. In November the BBC announced that it found Diana’s note, and The Telegraph later reported that an employee had taken it.

Khan said that he couldn’t remember when exactly Diana and Bashir ultimately stopped speaking, but that Prince William was the cause. “The boys were central to everything she did,” Khan said. “[William] hated the Panorama interview and told her she had made a mistake, which had upset her. But he was very direct and said: “Mummy, he’s not a good person.”From the Archive: Diana’s Final Heartbreak

The interview with Bashir spawned some of Diana’s most iconic televised comments about her relationship with Charles, including the quip that “there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” By telling her side of the story in public, not long after Charles had done the same in an interview with Jonathan Dimbleby,Diana marshalled public support; her biographer Sally Bedell Smith has said it helped push the palace to quickly settle her divorce. But it was a victory for Diana brought about by Bashir’s slimy tactics, used against a woman whose life had been compromised and even potentially endangered by invasive press scrutiny.WATCHRalph Macchio Recaps ‘Cobra Kai’ in 20 MinutesMOST POPULAR

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Though Khan’s account doesn’t answer the stickiest outstanding questions under investigation—what did the BBC know and when did they know it?—he does provide important corroboration for some of the stories other confidants of Diana have shared, and gives support for one potential reason why she might have intervened on Bashir’s behalf with a handwritten note. His comments also provide some insight into what Bashir, who has remained silent on the matter, might be thinking as the investigation continues.

Khan said he decided to speak out after he was contacted by a friend of Bashir’s seeking his assistance. “He phoned me, and said he knew Martin Bashir, and that he was under a lot of stress. He said he was a decent man but that he was very depressed and that he had a favor to ask: would I talk to Bashir?” he said. “I think the idea was that I would say something about how Diana wanted to do the interview. I could not do that.”More Great Stories FromVanity Fair

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Published by technofiend1

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

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