THE BBC has paid Harry and William‘s ex-nanny substantial damages over “false and malicious claims” made about her in Princess Diana explosive Panorama interview.
The broadcaster today publicly apologised to the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex for the “way Diana was deceived” to get the infamous chat – and “the subsequent impact on all their lives”.
Alexandra Pettifer, better known as Tiggy Legge-Bourke, appeared at the High Court in London for a public apology from the Beeb.
It came after “fabricated” allegations she had had an affair with the Prince of Wales while working as Charles’ personal assistant in 1995 were used to obtain Martin Bashir’s 1995 Panorama interview with Diana the same year.
Ms Pettifer said she was “scarred” by Bashir’s lies, and that “the distress caused to The Royal Family is a source of great upset to me.”
Her solicitor Louise Prince told the court the allegations caused “serious personal consequences for all concerned”.
Jonathan Scherbel-Ball, speaking on behalf of the BBC, told the court the Beeb accepts that the allegations were “wholly baseless” and “should never have been made.”
He added that the BBC did not, at the time “adequately investigate serious concerns over the circumstances in which the BBC secured the Panorama interview.”
And he said: “The BBC is extremely sorry for the serious and prolonged harm caused to [Mrs Pettifer] and the historical investigative shortcoming.”
The broadcaster apologised for “letting the Royal Family down” and agreed to pay Mrs Pettifer “substantial damages” and to cover her legal costs.
Tim Davie, director general of the BBC also issued a personal apology to Prince Charles, Harry and Prince William, for Bashir’s actions.
He said: “The BBC has agreed to pay substantial damages to Mrs Pettifer and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise publicly to her, to The Prince of Wales, and to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives.
“It is a matter of great regret that the BBC did not get to the facts in the immediate aftermath of the programme when there were warning signs that the interview might have been obtained improperly.”
It comes after an independent investigation was launched to find out how Bashir had convinced Diana to talk.
The damning Dyson report revealed the “rogue reporter” forged bank statements and spun wicked tales to win vulnerable Diana’s trust.
The BBC has agreed to pay substantial damages to Mrs Pettifer and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise publicly to her, to The Prince of Wales, and to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, for the way in which Princess Diana was deceived and the subsequent impact on all their lives.Tim DavieDirector-General BBC
He even outlandishly told Diana her phone was bugged and Prince Charles was having an affair with their sons’ nanny.
Issuing a televised statement last year, Wills blasted the “lurid and false claims” the journalist made to get the 1995 gig.
And he said the lies about the Royal Family “played on her fears and fuelled paranoia” – while brother Harry said the probe was the “first step towards justice” for their mum.
He said at the time: “It is my view that the deceitful 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.”
Mr Davie today agreed with the damning take, admitting the BBC “failed to ask the tough questions”.
He added: “Had we done our job properly Princess Diana would have known the truth during her lifetime. We let her, The Royal Family and our audiences down.”
Speaking after settling her claim for defamation brought against the BBC, Ms Pettifer, said today: “I am disappointed that it needed legal action for the BBC to recognise the serious harm I have been subjected to.
“Sadly, I am one of many people whose lives have been scarred by the deceitful way in which the BBC Panorama was made and the BBC’s subsequent failure to properly investigate the making of the programme.
“The distress caused to the royal family is a source of great upset to me.
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