The head of Britain's BBC revealed Monday that the corporation would be investigating how a journalist convinced the late Princess Diana to participate in a famous 1995 interview in which the princess admitted to an affair and divulged details about her marriage to Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.
The allegations that reporter Martin Bashir fabricated documents to gain the trust of Diana's family were made in a documentary by the UK's Channel 4 that aired last month called "Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview", and in comments made last week by Diana's brother Charles Spencer to the Daily Mail. Earl Spencer alleges Bashir said her vehicle was being tracked, her letters opened and phones tapped - and she was being betrayed by close friends, her bodyguard and palace courtiers.
The faked statements wrongly purported to show that two senior courtiers were being paid by the security services for information on his sister, the Daily Mail said.
Tim Davie, the BBC director general, has confirmed that the corporation is in the process of commissioning a review into claims Bashir engaged in subterfuge to clinch his landmark interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
Bashir also reportedly said Prince Edward had AIDS and that the queen was sick with heart problems.
The BBC has said an investigation has been "hampered at the moment" by the fact that Bashir was "seriously unwell". Was it known by those editorially in charge of the BBC at the time that forged bank statements had been used or were tried to be used?
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Spencer has demanded an apology from the BBC and an independent inquiry into how Bashir obtained the interview with Diana, saying he had been excluded from a 1996 internal BBC investigation.
"Who knew when and was it covered up?"
The couple divorced in 1996 and she was killed aged 36 in a auto crash in Paris the following year.
Princess Diana's story will be told in season four of Netflix's The Crown, which debuts November 15 and features Emma Corrin as a young version of the future royal as she begins a romance with Prince Charles.
"For the BBC to be faking documents in the interest of getting a scoop raises very serious questions", he told BBC radio.