Prince William said the 1995 Martin Bashir interview affected Princess Diana’s paranoia for the rest of her life.
The Duke of Cambridge said his mum, who tragically died two years after the controversial broadcast, was plagued with “fear, paranoia and isolation”.
The future king was speaking in an unprecedented recorded statement after an independent report into the BBC’s practices in landing its ‘scoop of the century’.
Disgraced journalist Bashir’s web of deceit was judged to have been “covered up” by the Beeb in relation to the Panorama interview.
His lies “substantially influenced” Diana, claimed William, before calling for the flagship investigative show to be axed.
In an astonishing broadside against the broadcaster, William, 38, said the catalogue of failings: “Not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”
“It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said,” he continued.
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“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.
“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”
The Duke added that if the BBC had properly probed the complaints first raised in 1995, his mum “would have known she had been deceived”.
“She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”
He continued: “These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer told the inquiry he too was “duped” and “groomed” by the reporter.
Tonight he appeared to lay the blame of his sister’s death at Bashir’s door saying there was a “line” between first meeting him on August 31, 1995 and Diana’s death exactly two years to the day later.
The Panorama interview was broadcast a year before Diana and Prince Charles were formally divorced in 1996, though they had separated in 1992.
Following the sensational interview in November 1995, where Diana admitted committing adultery and being in love with James Hewitt as well as uttering the infamous line “there were three of us in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded” in relation to her husband’s affair with his now wife Camilla, the Princess of Wales’s life descended into utter turmoil.
The Queen ordered Charles divorce her, she was stripped of her HRH title and she began her ill fated relationship with Dodi Fayed who she died with after the tragic car crash in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997.
Bashir had commissioned fake bank statements, which he falsely claimed showed trusted royal aides receiving payments from news organisations for information on the Princess of Wales, which “deceived and induced” the Earl into arranging a meeting with his sister.
William also slammed the “lurid and false claims” about the Royal Family allegedly made by the reporter, including sickening mistruths that the Queen had an eating disorder, Prince Edward was receiving private treatment for AIDS, while Camilla was suffering from depression.
He said they played on Diana’s fears and fuelled paranoia prior to agreeing to do the interview.