BBC compensates designer who mocked up fake bank statements for Martin Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana

Matt Wiessler ‘acted with integrity’ in raising concerns about false documents, broadcaster says

Jon Sharman
Friday 08 October 2021 12:09
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Princess Diana reveals mental health struggles in famous Panorama interview

The BBC has compensated a graphic designer it sidelined after he raised concerns about fake bank statements used by Martin Bashir to land an interview with Princess Diana.

Matt Wiessler mocked up the documents before Mr Bashir presented them to the Princess of Wales, who went on to sit for a blockbuster Panorama interview in 1995. He has accused the BBC of making him the “fall guy” for the scandal.

Earlier this year an independent review found Mr Bashir had behaved deceitfully and that the BBC’s editorial guidelines had been breached – a transgression later covered up by the corporation.

The former journalist has since said he regrets using the fake bank statements but claimed the incident did not cause harm to Diana.

Now, the BBC has reached a settlement with Mr Wiessler, who it admits “acted with complete integrity” in raising his concerns.

In a statement, the broadcaster said: "We are pleased that the BBC and Mr Wiessler have reached an agreement. We would like to repeat our full and unconditional apology to Mr Wiessler for the way he was treated by the corporation in the past.

"We also apologise to Mr Wiessler's family.

"Mr Wiessler acted with complete integrity, including in raising his concerns at the time and we are sorry that these were not listened to. We wish Mr Wiessler all the best for the future."

Mr Wiessler’s lawyer, Louis Charalambous of Simons Muirhead Burton LLP, added: "Mr Wiessler is relieved that the BBC has now matched the director-general's fulsome apologies with appropriate financial compensation for the wrongs done to him and the profound impact they had on his and his family's life.

"It is important to my client that the BBC has acknowledged that he acted properly and responsibly throughout."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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