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Before there was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s dramatic tell-all sit down with Oprah Winfrey, there was Princess Diana’s similarly controversial BBC Panorama interview, in which the late princess candidly discussed everything from postnatal depression, to her separation from Prince Charles.
Watched by almost 23 million people in the UK (39.3% of the population), the interview, conducted by BBC broadcaster Martin Bashir, was originally hailed as the scoop that every journalist dreams of.
But in the past couple of years, new details of the interview have come to light – including how Bashir reportedly coerced Diana into giving the landmark 50-minute interview by forging false bank statements.
The national broadcaster launched an independent investigation into Bashir’s conduct following a report by the Sunday Times, and found that the journalist had used “deceitful methods” to manipulate Diana.
Among the alleged false documents Bashir used to secure the interview were a false abortion ‘receipt’ for Prince William and Prince Harry’s nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, in an attempt to prey on Diana’s fear that Prince Charles and Tiggy were having an affair.
Now, People has reported that while Martin Bashir won’t be prosecuted for his conduct, the BBC has offered to pay Tiggy “significant” damages “in excess of £100,000”.
Tiggy, who remained close to the princes throughout their lives, attended Meghan and Harry’s 2018 royal wedding, and is also thought to be one of Archie’s godparents.
“Tiggy Legge-Bourke was right at the centre of Bashir’s manipulation and it is right that the damage caused to her is recognized by the BBC,” a source told The Telegraph.
Though the Royal Family are yet commented on the investigation’s outcome, William released a rare statement last November upon its launch, telling People, “‘The independent investigation is a step in the right direction. It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”
Tiggy Legge-Bourke is yet to comment.