A friend of Princess Diana's has claimed that the infamous “three of us in this marriage" BBC Panorama interview led to her untimely death.
Rosa Monckton, who was pals with the late princess, said she was noticeably different after meeting journalist Martin Bashir. She told the Daily Mail that she was "forensically exploited."
"Diana changed from being very concerned with day-to-day matters, just like any normal friend, to suddenly becoming obsessed with plots against her," Monckton wrote. The Princess of Wales began to think that Prince Charles was having an affair with her son’s nanny.
"She believed Bashir's outrageous claims — one of his skills, clearly, was in exploiting her susceptibility to the idea that she was being spied on by 'enemies.' He even commissioned forged documents to prove this," she said. "You have to remember that this was a woman who spent all her married life being chased by the paparazzi. Little wonder she was susceptible."
"She was in the grip of interviewer Martin Bashir, and there was not even a glimpse of the level-headed, fun-loving and compassionate person who was my friend," she added.
"The most chilling part, of the interview in retrospect, was when Bashir asked: 'Do you really believe that a campaign has been waged against you?' For what has become clear, thanks to the Mail's disclosures about the heartless and dishonest way Bashir secured his interview with Diana, is the tragic irony behind the question."
She wrote that the interview "probably changed the course of history," as it prompted divorce proceedings between Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and "the long-term implications were not thought through."
Diana lost her royal title, which her friend believes also contributed to her death. "Had she retained it, she would have still been in the embrace of the Royal Family when in Paris on August 31, 1997. And she would almost certainly not have been in the incapable hands of a speeding drunk driver employed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, who owned the Ritz Hotel where she and his son, Dodi, had dined."
The car accident that Diana died in was reportedly caused by paparazzi chasing the princess, but Monckton believes the BBC is equally responsible.
"For the BBC, our national broadcasting corporation, to behave in this devious and underhand way is just as bad as any of the hunting pack of paparazzi," she said.
Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, also lashed out at the BBC as Bashir falsified bank documents to prove a conspiracy.
"This was what led me to talk to Diana about such things. This in turn led to the meeting where I introduced Diana to Bashir, on 19 September 1995. This then led to the interview," he told PEOPLE last month. "The BBC have so far refused to acknowledge the above. They claim Diana wasn’t misled. They have ignored my inquiry as to whether the apology over their false bank statements extends to the ones that actually persuaded Diana to meet Bashir.”
The BBC responded that they have already apologized to the Earl.
On Monday, November 9, the BBC announced that they "are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation. The recent stories have highlighted some concerning issues. The BBC must hold ourselves to the gold standard of journalism."