Screenplay by Michael Levenson
Journalist Martin Bashir has left the British Broadcasting Corporation, which is preparing to publish the results of an investigation into allegations that he used dishonest tactics to obtain a major 1995 television interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
On Friday, in an email to colleagues, Jonathan Munroe, the BBC’s deputy news director, said Bashir had stepped down from his post as BBC’s religion editor and was leaving the corporation.
“He informed us of his decision last month, shortly before being admitted to the hospital again for another heart surgery,” Munroe wrote. “Although he underwent major surgery by the end of last year, he faces some ongoing challenges and has chosen to focus on his health.”
Bashir, 58, could not be reached for comment. In November, the BBC reported that he was recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery and complications related to COVID-19with whom he signed a contract earlier this year.
Bashir’s departure comes six months after the BBC announced it had appointed a former judge investigate charges that Bashir used deception to persuade Diana to take part in a 1995 interview.
During an interview that British journalists at the time hailed as “the sensation of the century”, Diana spoke frankly about her “crowded” marriage to Prince Charles, confessed to the romance and described how, in her despair, she suffered from Bulimia Rampant.
Approximately 23 million people watched the interview, which shocked him. England and catapulted Bashir to world fame. He interviewed Michael Jackson for a 2003 television special and worked in the United States, for ABC and MSNBC, before leaving MSNBC due to comments he made about Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice president.
In November, long-standing questions about the methods Bashir used to earn Diana’s trust again came under scrutiny in a two-part documentary that aired on the UK’s ITV network.
The documentary claimed that fake bank statements – allegedly proving that royal employees close to the princess were being paid to spy on her – were used to win Diana’s trust.