Princess Diana‘s former bodyguard has claimed she was ‘battered into submission’ by the public breakdown of marriage and ‘used’ by journalist Martin Bashir.
Lee Sansum, 58, guarded Diana and her sons a month before she died while she was on holiday in St Tropez, after he was hired by tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed, father of Dodi Fayed.
Sansum, who was one of 278 witnesses who gave evidence to an inquest into her death in 2008, claimed in an interview with The Sunday Mirror that the scrutiny of her marriage to the Prince of Wales, which intensified following her famous 1995 Panorama interview with Bashir, left her ‘done’ like a boxer after their final fight.
Her bombshell 1995 interview saw the Princess of Wales, who was still married to Charles, now 71, open up about his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles and her struggle with bulimia, among other subjects.
Princess Diana’s former bodyguard claims she was ‘battered into submission’ by public breakdown of marriage, she is pictured with Prince Charles in Germany in 1987
Lee Sansum, 58, guarded Diana and her sons a month before she died on holiday in St Tropez, after being hired by tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed – the father of Dodi Fayed
‘It was like when a fighter is knocked down for the last time and they are just done’, he said. ‘She’d been screwed over badly.’
Sansum claims that Diana was repeatedly told she was ‘crazy’ as the breakdown of her marriage remained in the public spotlight.
His comments come after the BBC announced it would hold an independent investigation into whether Princess Diana was happy with the way journalist Bashir secured her explosive 1995 interview, which Sansum vehemently supports.
‘There are absolutely grounds for an investigation,’ he said. ‘She was used.’
He claimed Diana was ‘used’ by Martin Bashir (pictured in 1995) for her explosive 1995 Panorama interview
Her bombshell 1995 interview saw the Princess of Wales, who was still married to Charles, now 71, open up about his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles
It’s been alleged that Bashir won the trust of Diana through his use of questionable methods including producing fake bank statements showing payments of thousands of pounds from newspapers to ‘traitors’ allegedly ‘spying’ on the Spencer family.
The BBC’s investigation one year after the interview exonerated Bashir but declared that the graphic designer involved in making the phoney documents ‘will not work for the corporation again’.
The 1996 probe focused on the use of fake bank statements to gain Diana’s trust. It was effectively ended by a handwritten letter from the princess, which supposedly said she was happy with Mr Bashir’s conduct.
He claimed that the scrutiny of her marriage to the Prince of Wales left her ‘done’ like a boxer after their final fight. Pictured, Charles and Diana in Toronto, 1991
The corporation had said a copy of the note was no longer in its possession and could not be produced for a 2007 Freedom of Information request – but announced it had been recovered on Friday.
The BBC has said the note confirms the princess had not seen the false financial documents ahead of her 1995 Panorama interview and they played no part in her decision to speak on camera.