Journalist Martin Bashir has quit his position at the BBC, just before the network’s release of the inquiry report investigating his controversial interview with Princess Diana in 1995.
Jonathan Munro, who is BBC’s deputy director of news, announced the news to staff in a Friday email, according to The Guardian.
“Martin Bashir has stepped down from his position as the BBC’s religion editor and is leaving the corporation. He let us know of his decision last month, just before being readmitted to the hospital for another surgical procedure on his heart,” Munro wrote. “Although he underwent major surgery toward the end of last year, he is facing some ongoing issues and has decided to focus on his health.”
Why did Martin Bashir quit his post at BBC?
Martin Bashir’s news of leaving his post at BBC, comes after BBC announced that it had appointed a former judge to lead an investigation into accusations that Bashir had used deceptive tactics to persuade Diana to participate in the 1995 interview.
Know more about Martin Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana
Needless to say, that the interview that Bashir had held with Princess Diana was a controversial one. It revealed many things about the Royal family, including Diana saying that there were “three of us” in her marriage to Prince Charles, which quickly led to an order from Queen Elizabeth that Diana and Charles should divorce (they had separated in 1992).
Bashir used unethical methods to persuade Diana to participate in the interview
However, recently, reports have surfaced alleging that Bashir used unethical methods to persuade Diana to participate in the interview, including claims that her own staff members were being paid to spy on her. The BBC has been accused of a cover-up in a previous inquiry when rumors about Bashir’s alleged methods first surfaced.
His methods in securing the interview have been investigated by former Supreme Court judge John Dyson, whom the BBC appointed after calls from the late princess’ brother, Charles Spencer. “He has concluded his investigation and the report has been passed to the BBC for publication in due course.”, Dyson’s spokesperson said.
Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana gained a lot of attention
An estimated 23 million people watched the interview at that time, after which Bashir’s fame shot up and his career flourished. He even went on to interview the legend Michael Jackson.
Diana died at age 36 following a car crash in Paris in August 1997, one year after she and Charles officially divorced.