BBC 'could face £5million in payouts' over Martin Bashir interview
BBC ‘could face £5million in compensation payouts’ over lies as royal aides, servants and friends of Princess Diana consider legal action over Martin Bashir interview
- Aides, servants and friends of Princess Diana tarnished by Bashir could sue BBC
- Comes as inquiry found reporter used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure interview Media law expert Mark Stephens said BBC could face payouts of up to £5million
The BBC could face millions of pounds in compensation claims from people who were smeared by Martin Bashir or lost their jobs as the result of his deceit.
Royal aides, servants and friends of Princess Diana who found themselves tarnished by Bashir are considering suing the BBC.
It comes after the official inquiry found that the BBC reporter used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure his landmark Panorama interview in 1995.
Bashir produced fake bank statements, which he showed to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, to gain access to the princess, Lord Dyson, a former judge, reported.
Bashir produced fake bank statements, which he showed to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, to gain access to the princess
Mr Jephson (pictured) left his job after the affair, and told Panorama last night that it had been ‘devastating, and life-changing’
They purported to show payments into the bank accounts of Alan Waller, a former employee of Earl Spencer, Commander Patrick Jephson, Diana’s private secretary, and Commander Richard Aylard, private secretary to the Prince of Wales.
Mr Jephson left his job after the affair, and told Panorama last night that it had been ‘devastating, and life-changing’.
Meanwhile, royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke was subject to preposterous slurs, including that she had a secret holiday with Prince Charles.
Last night media law expert Mark Stephens said the BBC could face payouts of up to £5million.
Royal and BBC staff who lost their jobs could sue for loss of earnings while those whose names were tarnished could sue for libel.
Mr Stephens, of Howard Kennedy solicitors, said: ‘So you’ve got defamation for virtually everybody because they were wrongly accused by Bashir and the BBC is liable as his employer for his wrongful acts including libel.’
He added that in the event of civil claims the BBC would be forced to disclose relevant documents and offer up BBC chiefs as witnesses.
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