PRINCESS Diana's brother Earl Spencer says he takes "full responsibility" for introducing her to Martin Bashir.
Ahead of Diana's sensational 1995 interview, Earl Spencer had been "reeled in" by "deceitful" Bashir, who had forged bank statements to gain their trust.
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Earl Spencer said on Panorama tonight: "I had warned Diana very clearly and apologised. And she said 'oh don't worry Carlos,' which is what she called me.
"I still take full responsibility for introducing this man to Diana.
"But at the end of the day, I'd done my due diligence. I'm not trying to get off the hook, it's my responsibility."
The Earl revealed that Bashir’s strategy was to make “everyone untrustworthy” as a way of getting close to him and his sister.
In the Panorama special tonight, the broadcaster pieced together the "calculated deceit" that Bashir had deployed to get his Diana scoop.
The presenter explained: "In the summer of 1995, he had identified Earl Spencer as his gateway to the Princess.
"The Earl had been reeled in, thanks to the bank statements.
What the report found:
- Bashir fabricated information to 'deceive' Princess Diana into giving 1995 interview
- He commissioned fake bank statements and showed them to Earl Spencer
- Lord Dyson rules Bashir 'acted inappropriately' in serious breach of code
- BBC has admitted 'unacceptable failures' and apologised for 'clear failings'
- The broadcaster 'fell short of what audiences expect' and failed with its 1996 inquiry
- Bashir apologised saying the faking of bank statements was a “an action I deeply regret” but said it had "no bearing" on Diana's decision to do the interview
- Lord Birt, director-general of the BBC at the time, says the BBC "harboured a rogue report" who "fabricated an elaborate, detailed but wholly false account"
- The corporation will be stripped of awards for 1995 Panorama interview
"What he didn't know, was that they were forgeries."
Earl Spencer also revealed his initial correspondence with Martin Bashir – in which the journalist said he didn't want an interview, but just that he simply wanted to "share some information which may be of interest."
Speaking about the events in the run up to the sensational 1995 interview, Earl Spencer said: “Bashir was very good at amplifying people's anxieties.
“He was very good at making you feel as though he was your friend who was going to save you in a in a difficult and dangerous world.”
Earl Spencer has also blamed Martin Bashir over Diana's tragic death.
Just two years before, Diana was tricked into sitting down for her explosive interview with "deceitful" Bashir.
Earl Spencer suggested his sister lost faith in those around her after being duped into taking part the BBC scoop after her marriage collapsed.
Speaking to the BBC tonight, Earl Spencer said: "The irony is I met Martin Bashir on the 31st August 1995 because exactly two years later she died and I do draw a line between the two events.
"It's quite clear from the introduction I sat in on the 19th September 1995 everybody was going to be made untrustworthy and I think Diana did lose trust in really key people.
"This is a young girl in her mid 30s who has lived this extraordinarily difficult and turbulent time in the public eye – she didn't know who to trust – and in the end when she died two years later, she was without any form of real protection."
A damning report today found "rogue reporter" Bashir faked bank statements and used "deceitful behaviour" to trick Diana into giving the infamous interview.
And it revealed the BBC "without justification" had "covered up" Bashir's sensational lies.
Earl Spencer told previously how Bashir used the forged bank statements to convince Diana to do the interview.
He said the papers wrongly showed two senior courtiers were being paid by the security services for information on his sister.
The false documents also gave the impression associates of the royal family were selling stories to newspapers.
Diana's brother said if he hadn't seen the bank statements he would not have made the introduction and the scoop wouldn't have happened.
Bashir's lies are blamed for fuelling Diana’s fears about her safety and privacy.
The journalist was accused of ordering a graphic artist to fake two bank statements to obtain the interview after Diana and Prince Charles' divorce.
An ex-employee of Princess Diana’s brother complained to police he was named in fake documents allegedly used to gain access to her.
Alan Waller, who worked for Earl Spencer in security, said the papers falsely suggested he got money from newspapers and the security forces for snooping on Diana.
The tragic princess sat down with the then-unknown journalist in 1995, famously revealing: "There were three of us in this marriage".
She also admitted to her infidelity with Army captain James Hewitt, and questioned Charles’s suitability as king.
Responding to the report, Bashir said today: "This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago.
"I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up. It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret.
"But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently."
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