Earl Charles Spencer is determined to protect his late sister Princess Diana.
On Thursday, the 57-year-old announced on Twitter that he has won a legal victory over a claim made in the U.K. Times newspaper that he’d denied Diana a home following the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.
The claim, which was published under the headline “It’s too simple to blame everything on Bashir,” the outlet suggested that the earl failed to protect the princess from Martin Bashir. The BBC Panorama reporter was recently found to have used “deceitful methods” to secure his controversial 1995 interview with the royal.
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The article incorrectly implied that in failing to protect Diana, Spencer was partly to blame for her tragic death in 1997 at age 36 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash, People magazine reported.
“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 @thetimes Yellow journalism,” the earl tweeted.
Spencer included a link to the newspaper’s “Corrections and Clarifications” section that noted the article in question “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.”
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“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 outlet explained.
“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,” it continued. “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.”
People magazine reported that Spencer previously accepted undisclosed libel damages from Associated Newspapers in 2018 over a similar claim published in the DailyMail, which alleged that he had acted in an “unbrotherly, heartless and callous way” towards Diana following her split from Charles.
According to the outlet, court proceedings showed that Spencer had refused Diana’s request to use The Garden House cottage on his Althorp estate, but this was primarily because the home was needed by a member of staff.
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Instead, the outlet shared, he offered the princess the use of other homes on the Althorp estate, including the 16th-century mansion Wormleighton Manor. However, she ultimately decided against staying in any of the properties.
When someone tweeted that The Times should pay a “substantial amount” in damages, Spencer replied, “They’re haggling, of course. No real shame.”
Spencer’s wife, Karen Spencer, also took to Twitter following the legal victory.
“Shame on those who abuse their important role in the media & their platforms to spread gossip & lies,” she tweeted. “Particularly in this time when the truth & good journalism are so needed. Well done @cspencer1508 for standing up to it. Sadly most of those violated can’t afford to fight back.”