The BBC has paid damages to Earl Spencer’s former head of security over the faking of his bank statements used to obtain its interview with Princess Diana.
Alan Waller is understood to have received about £60,000, more than 25 years after Martin Bashir, the Panorama reporter, used the fake statements to gain Earl Spencer’s trust.
As a result, Earl Spencer introduced Bashir to his sister, leading to the world exclusive interview in 1995 in which she declared that her husband - King Charles - was cheating on her with Camilla Parker-Bowles, now the Queen Consort.
The payment to Mr Waller brings to an end a series of settlements made by the BBC to victims of Bashir’s deceit. In total, the corporation has paid out in the region of £2.7 million that includes £1.5 million to charities chosen by the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex.
A report by Lord Dyson, published in May last year, found that the BBC had been aware of Bashir’s duplicity but had covered it up to protect its reputation. The Dyson review cost an additional £1.4m, bringing the BBC’s bill to a total of more than £4m to clear up the mess in the wake of the scandal. With substantial legal costs, the final cost to licence fee payers is likely to exceed £5m.
BBC hopes he 'can draw a line under this chapter'
In a statement, the BBC said: “Following the publication of the Dyson Report last year, the BBC and Alan Waller, a former employee of the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, today announce that a settlement has been reached between them.
“The BBC has agreed to pay Mr Waller an agreed sum in damages and to pay his reasonable costs, and apologises to him for the false information included in the fabricated bank statements used to procure the 1995 Interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.
“The BBC hopes that Mr Waller is now able to draw a line under this chapter, and we wish him the best for the future.”
Mr Waller, who lives in Norfolk, was unavailable for comment on Tuesday night. But in an exclusive interview with the Telegraph last year, he said Bashir had behaved “despicably” and that he had been used as “leverage” to secure the interview.
The BBC has already paid substantial damages to Matt Wiessler, the graphic artist who was ordered by Bashir to fake Mr Waller’s bank statements.
Mr Wiessler, who was subsequently blacklisted by the BBC, received £750,000 in damages including for loss of earnings.
Alexandra Pettifer, better known as Tiggy Legge-Bourke during her stint as the princes’ nanny, was paid a reported £200,000 compensation for smears and lies spread by Bashir to gain Princess Diana’s confidence.
Sir Patrick Jephson, Princess Diana’s former private secretary, received in the region of £100,000 after Bashir spread lies about him, fuelling Princess Diana’s paranoia and mistrust.
The statements that Bashir had ordered to be faked showed payments to Mr Waller, purportedly from News International, publishers of the Sun and News of the World newspapers. Bashir was falsely claiming Mr Waller was selling stories to the tabloid newspaper and could not be trusted. Another bank statement falsely showed money being paid to Mr Waller from an offshore company, suggesting the British intelligence agencies were also paying him for information about the princess.
In the interview, broadcast in November 1995, Princess Diana said "there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded".