The BBC’s apology last week to Lord Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, was “piecemeal” and insufficient, according to the recipient. At issue is the 1995 BBC interview with Diana—the one best remembered for “There were three of us in this marriage”—and the means by which the interviewer, Martin Bashir, got Earl Spencer to secure it: allegedly fake bank statements suggesting that a former Spencer employee was being paid to leak information about his sister, plus allusions to rumors that Prince Charles was having an affair with William and Harry’s nanny, the former Tiggy Legge-Bourke. “If it were not for me seeing these [bank] statements, I would not have introduced Bashir to my sister,” Spencer wrote, according to the Daily Mail, which on Thursday also claimed that the discs containing the fake bank statements, allegedly dummied up by a BBC graphic artist, had mysteriously vanished from the man’s home during a burglary 25 years ago. Although the BBC’s current director, Tim Davie, has now apologized for the deception, Spencer is demanding an inquiry. But the BBC says it cannot “progress this any further” right now because Bashir is reportedly ill with the coronavirus.
The headlines, all variations on the same core premise, were irresistible: “SAUSAGE KING” KILLED IN SAUNA WITH CROSSBOW was more or less how it went, whatever the publication. And why not—one sees that and reads on, right? Though it turns out to be the garden-variety sausage-king-killed-by-crossbow-in-sauna story. You know the mise-en-scène:an estate somewhere outside Moscow; a sausage-factory mogul, Vladimir Marugov, 54, and his partner, Sabina Gaziyeva, 36, are attacked by masked assailants while relaxing in the sauna; she escapes through a window; he, well, doesn’t. Police have arrested a suspect, and there have been unconfirmed reports that the detainee has possible ties to Marugov’s former wife.