The BBC will pay “significant damages” to journalist Mark Killick, who was fired after expressing his concerns about the world-famous interview with the late Princess Diana. The reporter reported to his former employer fake bank statements that were used against the princess for the interview, but was later told he could leave. Public Broadcasting Corporation now commends the journalist for his ethical response at the time.
A brief statement on the BBC’s website said a “settlement has been reached” between former BBC correspondent and producer Mark Keelek and public broadcaster. The BBC unconditionally apologizes. (…) Mr. Kilic has done quite rightly in expressing his concerns about Martin Bashir’s meeting with Diana, Princess of Wales.”
The interview in question dates back to 1996. At the time, Kilic discovered that a high-profile conversation with the late Princess Diana was to come after she was blackmailed with fake bank statements. The journalist went to his employer to report this, but was knocked on the door less than a day later.
Just last year, public radio opened an investigation into the way the interview was conducted. Meanwhile, the BBC concluded that false bank statements had been used effectively. These copies “proved” that members of the British royal family were bribed to share information about Diana and Prince Charles with the press. When Diana was shown the forged documents, she was persuaded to open an admission of her marital problems and her relationship with her in-laws.
Martin Bashir, the journalist who interviewed Diana, apologized after the outcome of the investigation. He said it was “stupid” that they falsified the documents, but despite this mistake, he is still proud of the conversation he had at the time.
The BBC said on its website that none of the parties involved wanted to comment further on the investigation or the facts.