Former journalist Martin Bashir has offered somewhat of an apology to Prince William and Prince Harry in the wake of the BBC investigation that found that he used "deceitful methods" to secure his bombshell 1995 interview with Princess Diana. Bashir said in an interview with The Sunday Times that he was "deeply sorry" and "never wanted to harm" the late princess. "I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don't believe we did," he claimed in the interview. "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... My family and I loved her."
Regarding Princess Diana's family, Bashir said "I can't imagine what their family must feel each day." The BBC's formal inquiry found that Bashir had shown fake bank statements to Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, which "deceived and induced him to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana." The investigation also found that Bashir lied to BBC managers about the falsified documents, which allegedly fueled Princess Diana's fears that her private conversations were being bugged by the secret services on behalf of the Royal Family. However, Bashir denies this particular allegation.
"Even in the early 1990s, there were stories and secretly recorded phone calls. I wasn't the source of any of that," he said. "I don't feel I can be held responsible for many of the other things that were going on in her life, and the complex issues surrounding those decisions." Bashir had previously told the BBC that the fake bank documents "had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview" and referred to a handwritten note from Princess Diana in the investigation. "Martin Bashir did not show me any documents, nor give me any information that I was not previously aware of," the note reads. Bashir said he is still "immensely proud" of the interview, but still admits that there was a "serious error" in how it affected Diana's life. "I hope that people will allow me the opportunity to show that I am properly repentant of what happened," Bashir concluded.
In the interview with Bashir, Diana famously declared that there were "three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." Diana and Charles divorced in 1996, and she tragically died in a car crash in Paris in 1997. William and Harry both attributed Diana's growing paranoia to the fallout from this interview in statements following the findings of the investigation. "Our mother lost her life because of this," Harry said in his statement, and William posited that the way the interview was obtained "substantially influenced what my mother said."
"The interview was a major contribution to making my parents' relationship worse and has since hurt countless others," William said in his statement. "The BBC's failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation that I remember from those final years with her."