The BBC is moving forward with the appointment of a former senior judge, John Dyson, to lead an independent investigation into the circumstances around a 1995 TV interview with the late Princess Diana.
The broadcaster’s announcement on Wednesday comes after Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, recently made renewed claims that BBC journalist Martin Bashir allegedly used forged statements and false claims to convince Diana to agree to the interview, which according to Reuters, was watched by over 20 million people in Britain.
In the interview 25 years ago, Diana said “there were three of us in this marriage,” in which she referred to Prince Charles’ relationship with his Camilla Parker-Bowles, who he married after Diana’s death. Diana, who divorced Charles in 1996, died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was being pursued by paparazzi. Diana and Charles, 72, had two sons: Prince William, who heir to the throne after his father, and Prince Harry.
The investigation will take a look to see if the steps taken by both the BBC and Bashir, now 57, were appropriate, and to what extent those actions influenced Diana’s decision to give the interview at the time.
The BBC described Dyson, a former Supreme Court judge, as “an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process.”
Charles Spencer, who is seeking an inquiry and an apology, is alleging that in the time leading up to the 1995 interview, Bashir made false and defamatory allegations about senior royals to gain Spencer’s trust in addition to access to Diana.
The allegations include: Diana’s phone was being bugged, her bodyguard was plotting against her and two senior royal aides were being paid to keep Diana under surveillance. Spencer alleged that Bashir showed him “false bank statements” to back up his allegations.
When the complaints first came about, the BBC did an internal investigation and alleged that Bashir admitted to commissioning mocked-up documents, however, the broadcaster has said that the docs played no part in Diana’s decision to do the interview.
The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, said the broadcaster “is determined to get to the truth about these events.”
According to Reuters, Bashir has not publicly commented to the press and the BBC said he is on sick leave from his position as religion editor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report