The former nanny of Prince William and Prince Harry will reportedly be paid damages after it was claimed BBC reporter Martin Bashir alleged she’d aborted a pregnancy resulting from an affair with Prince Charles.
An investigation into how Bashir secured a tell-all interview with Princess Diana found Bashir had faked an abortion receipt for Tiggy Legge-Bourke (now Pettifer) and told Princess Diana that Charles was in love with the children’s nanny, including claims the pair had holidayed alone for two weeks.
A source has told The Telegraph in the UK that the BBC acknowledges the pain Tiggy suffered as a result of the false claims and will pay her £100,000 (AUD $189,119) in damages.
“Tiggy Legge-Bourke was right at the centre of Bashir’s manipulation and it is right that the damage caused to her is recognised by the BBC,” the source told the publication.
Diana’s friend Rosa Monckton confirmed the impact Bashir’s false claims had on the princess, writing in The Daily Mail about that time.
“Diana changed from being very concerned with day-to-day matters, just like any normal friend, to suddenly becoming obsessed with plots against her,” she wrote.
Monckton said Diana had become wrongly “obsessed” that Prince Charles was having an affair Tiggy Legge-Bourke and believed claims the nanny was pregnant.
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The pregnancy and abortion claims were reportedly some of several alleged underhanded methods used by Bashir to secure the interview for BBC’s Panorama, which aired in 1995 and was watched by 23 million people.
Since these accusations came to light, Bashir has stood down from the broadcaster.
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Tiggy was hired by Prince Charles as a nanny for Prince William and Prince Harry in 1993, shortly after he and Diana separated. She joined the family on holidays and maintains a close relationship with the royals, in particular with the princes.
She attended both their weddings and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle named her as godmother of their first child, son Archie.
In November 2020 the BBC announced an independent investigation into the methods Bashir used to convince Princess Diana to participate in the interview. They hired former British Supreme Court Judge John Dyson to lead the investigation.
The investigation found that Bashir used “deceitful methods” and breached the BBC’s editorial guidelines by creating false bank statements to manipulate Diana into giving the interview.
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It was claimed Bashir commissioned the fake bank statements and showed them to Diana’s brother Charles Spencer to “deceive and induce” him into arranging a meeting with the princess.
“In doing so, he was able to convince Diana to do the notorious interview,” the report found.
Bashir has since said he is “deeply sorry” for his behaviour, telling The Sunday Times, “I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did.
“Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents,” he continued.
“I can’t imagine what their family must feel each day.”
Prince William spoke out against the methods used to gain his mother’s trust, calling out the BBC’s “failures” which he says “contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her”.
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