“It was wrong to suggest [Earl Spencer] had refused to help his sister or had failed to protect her,” The Times newspaper printed in its “Corrections and Clarifications” column on Thursday
Charles Spencer, the brother of Princess Diana, is continuing to fight for his sister’s legacy as the 24th anniversary of her shocking death approaches.
The Earl, 57, announced Thursday that he had won a legal victory over a false claim in The Times newspaper that he’d denied Diana a home follow home following the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles (whom Diana wed at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London 40 years ago today).
Published under the headline “It’s too simple to blame everything on Bashir,” The Times’ article also wrongly suggested that the Earl had failed to protect Diana from rogue BBC Panorama reporter, Martin Bashir, who was recently found to have used “deceitful methods” to secure his controversial 1995 interview with the princess.
Most damagingly, the article went on to incorrectly imply that in failing to protect his sister the Earl was partly to blame for her tragic death in Paris on August 31, 1997.
“Today, for the third time, a ‘paper has been forced by the Law to apologise for lying about me “depriving Diana of a home,” the Earl tweeted on Thursday about the correction to the May 22 story.
Today, for the third time, a ‘paper has been forced by the Law to apologise for lying about me “depriving Diana of a home”. The guilty journalist this time? Janice Turner – aka @VictoriaPeckham of
He also included a link to a story in the newspaper’s “Corrections and Clarifications” section admitting the article “wrongly stated that Earl Spencer had refused to assist Diana, Princess of Wales, with the offer of a house after the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.”
“We are happy to report that having considered his sister’s safety, and in line with police advice, the Earl offered the Princess of Wales a number of properties including Wormleighton Manor, the Spencer family’s original ancestral home,” The Times continued.
“It was wrong to suggest he had refused to help his sister or had failed to protect her from Martin Bashir and concealed evidence of the latter’s deception. We did not intend to suggest that the Earl was to blame for his sister’s death. We apologise to the Earl and have agreed to pay his costs as well as make a payment to him which he will donate to charity.”
The Earl previously accepted undisclosed libel damages from Associated Newspapers in 2018 over a similar claim in the Daily Mail, which printed that he had acted in an “unbrotherly, heartless and callous way” toward Diana following her split from Charles.
Court proceedings showed that while the Earl had refused his sister’s request to use The Garden House cottage on his Althorp estate in Northamptonshire (around 75 miles north of London), this was primarily because the home was needed by a member of staff.
The Earl then offered Diana the use of other homes on the Althorp estate, including the large, 16th century mansion Wormleighton Manor, but she ultimately decided against staying in any of the properties.
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Despite this latest victory, Spencer says the case is far from settled. In reply to a tweeter who suggested The Times should pay “a substantial amount” in damages, the Earl wrote, “They’re haggling, of course.”
He added, “No real shame.”
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