Famed British journalist Martin Bashir is known worldwide for his candid interviews with two famously walled-off celebrities: Princess Diana and Michael Jackson. Bashir profiled Jackson for eight months before releasing the documentary “Living With Michael Jackson” in 2003.
Cornwall Live reports Jackson, who notoriously distrusted the media, agreed to the documentary upon Bashir’s claims that it would rehabilitate his public image and portray him in a positive, philanthropic light. The documentary instead painted Jackson as an ill-equipped father and serial child abuser, leading to his 2005 child molestation trial. Cornwall Live reports Jackson told people close to him that he felt “more betrayed than perhaps ever before.”
A few years prior in 1995, Bashir conducted a bombshell interview with the Princess of Wales, in which she claimed there were “three of us” in her marriage to Prince Charles, according to People. This set off a frenzy in the royal family, leading the queen to issue an order that Diana and Charles divorce. 25 years later, The Sunday Times reported that Bashir landed the interview by showing her brother false bank statements suggesting that members of Diana’s staff were being paid to spy on her, preying on Diana’s fears that she was being watched.
On May 14, 2021, the BBC announced Bashir was leaving the company. Why so suddenly? Keep reading to find out.
Martin Bashir is still suffering from Covid complications
Just before the BBC was set to release the report on the investigation of Martin Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana, Bashir resigned from the network. “Martin Bashir has stepped down from his position as the BBC’s religion editor and is leaving the corporation,” deputy news director Jonathan Munro said in an email to staff that was later published on the BBC website.
Munro continued, “He let us know of his decision last month, just before being readmitted to hospital for another surgical procedure on his heart. 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.”
The BBC reported in October 2020 that Bashir was “seriously unwell with Covid-19 related complications,” and noted that Bashir “had been absent from his role in recent months after contracting Covid-19 and undergoing quadruple bypass surgery” in its announcement of his resignation. While it appears reasonable that health was the primary motivator in Bashir’s decision to leave, the timing coinciding with the imminent report on his Diana interview looks suspicious.
Per the resignation announcement, a BBC spokesperson claimed that the report on Bashir’s potential wrongdoing will be published “very soon.”
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