Princess Diana's best friend believes she was in Martin Bashir's "grip" and claims he 'exploited her vulnerability'.
Rosa Monckton says the reporter acted in a "heartless and dishonest way" and hopes a BBC probe ordered this week will restore trust in the corporation, writes the Mirror Online.
Rosa claims Diana, godmother to her daughter Domenica, was lured into believing an "appalling tissue of lies that would undermine her confidence in friends, family and courtiers".
She said: “I am convinced all these heightened anxieties and ludicrous allegations came as a direct result of the conspiratorial fantasies Bashir used to lure her.
“He was cunning to tell Diana close friends were briefing against her.
“This made it impossible for her to turn to them for advice. That’s why, I imagine, Diana never told me about the programme.”
Rosa also said the 'people's princess' became "obsessed with plots", adding the royal was a shell of the friend she knew in the 1995 Panorama interview.
“There wasn’t even a glimpse of the level-headed, fun-loving and compassionate person… It was the worst of her,” she said.
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It emerged ITV has ditched Bashir, who has not commented on claims, from presenting a programme on killer royal aide Jane Andrews.
BBC director general Tim Davie said: “The BBC is taking this very seriously.”
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It's also been said that Princess Diana was being "mischievous" by deciding that the iconic BBC Panorama interview should air on Prince Charles' birthday, according to Richard Kay, her journalist friend.
In a new ITV documentary, The Diana Interview: Revenge Of A Princess, he said she would have remembered the importance of the date.
The explosive interview, which first aired 25 years ago and saw millions of viewers tune in on November 14, 1995, saw the Di boldly admit to her fling with James Hewitt.
The Diana Interview: Revenge Of A Princess is on ITV at 9pm tonight
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