PRINCESS Diana had “no regrets” over her interview with Martin Bashir – and the image of her as a “foolish” woman who was conned is offensive, her biographer claims.
Tina Brown said Diana was no “vulnerable victim of the media” and felt “pleased” about the Panorama interview.
In May, a bombshell report into the 1995 chat found that ex BBC journalist Bashir acted in “serious breach” of the broadcaster’s guidelines to secure the interview.
Princes William and Harry both condemned the journalist in separate statements, while Diana’s brother Earl Spencer told of his fury and horror.
Lord Dyson’s report revealed Bashir fabricated information to “deceive” Diana into agreeing to talk.
He commissioned fake bank statements to persuade her that officials were being paid by MI5 and the media for information about her, before showing them to Earl Spencer to win his trust.
The reporter also told Diana her phone was bugged and Prince Charles was having an affair with their sons’ nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
Blameless Ms Legge-Bourke – who now goes by Tiggy Pettifer – has been paid “substantial” damages by the BBC for the smear.
After being presented with the deceit, Diana granted Bashir an interview – famously revealing “there were three of us” in her marriage to Charles.
But Ms Brown told the Telegraph the princess has been portrayed as a “foolish, duped child” in a way she finds “offensive”.
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“While strongly sympathetic to her sons’ pain, I find it offensive to present the canny, resourceful Diana as a woman of no agency, as either a foolish, duped child or the hapless casualty of malevolent muckrakers,” she said.
Following Lord Dyson’s report, William issued a rare on-camera statement telling of his “indescribable sadness” and belief that the BBC’s failures “contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation“.
And Harry said: “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.
“Our mother lost her life because of this, and nothing has changed.”
However, Ms Brown said the princess “didn’t have a bad word to say about Martin Bashir” and the interview left her “with the public in the palm of her hand”.
The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil, by Tina Brown, is published on April 26.