Princess Diana's former love, Hasnat Khan, is speaking out for the first time about the impact Martin Bashir's infamous Panorama interview had on her.
The Pakistan-born cardiologist, whose relationship with Princess Diana began in 1995 and ended shortly before her death in 1997, has said he had warned her to be "careful" around interviewer Martin Bashir. The BBC journalist has been accused of forging documents and manipulating the British royal with false information to gain the interview which is the most-watched in television history.
In a recent interview with Mail Online, Khan recalled that Bashir "filled her (Diana's) head with rubbish," until her son Prince William, a teenager back then, convinced her to sever ties with him. The Duke of Cambridge reportedly said: "Mummy, Martin Bashir isn't a good person."
The heart surgeon dubbed Bashir a "cunning man" who "manipulated" the princess into giving the interview in which she famously said about her marriage with the heir apparent Prince Charles: "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." Khan also revealed that the royal had admitted she had a "mole" codenamed Dr. Jarman, who turned out to be Bashir.
Among the lies Bashir had told her, was that Camilla Parker Bowles, now married to Prince Charles, had flown to America for plastic surgery. He also bombarded Khan with intimate questions about whether he was planning to marry Diana. Khan says he warned Diana that Bashir was dangerous and she "should have nothing more to do with him," but the Princess of Wales went ahead with the interview which led to her and Prince Charles's divorce.
Khan says that while Charles and Diana divorced the following year, she was still in contact with Bashir until her eldest son William, then aged just 13, convinced her otherwise. The surgeon also claims that a close ally of the discredited BBC religion editor got in touch with him when a fresh investigation was launched last year, begging for help.
"He phoned me, and said he knew Martin Bashir, and that he was under a lot of stress. He said he was a decent man but that he was very depressed and that he had a favour to ask: would I talk to Bashir? I think the idea was that I would say something about how Diana wanted to do the interview. I could not do that," Khan said.
Princess Diana died just two years after the interview, and months after her split from Khan. He says about the late royal: "One of her most attractive qualities was her vulnerability. It was what endeared her to the public. I later realised that Martin picked on those vulnerabilities and exploited them."
"He was very persuasive with Diana. It was all about him being from the BBC, being respectable and very pious even. But he filled her head with rubbish, such as that stuff about the nanny Tiggy [Legge-Bourke] being pregnant with Charles's child," he added.
Apart from Khan, Diana's brother Charles Spencer and her friend Rosa Monckton have also claimed that the Panorama interviewer filled Diana's head with theories that the British royal family was plotting against her.