THE LAST SMILE BEFORE DYING: ARTICLE AND PICTURES
WARNING! GRAPHIC DEATH PICTURES AT END OF ARTICLE! WARNING!
Photos of dying Diana create furore
By Mimi Turner
LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - Channel 4 on Monday said it will go ahead with the broadcast of a film showing previously unseen photographs of Princess Diana in the car crash that killed her in 1997, despite anger from her friends and criticism from politicians.
The broadcaster, which earlier this year stoked controversy with the fictionalized assassination of President George Bush in "Death of a President," has denied the program is sensationalizing Diana's death and has described the film as "responsible."
It will broadcast "Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel" next week, to mark the 10th anniversary of her death. Newspapers have reported that the program features previously unpublished photographs of the princess receiving medical attention from a doctor as she lay dying in the back of the black Mercedes S-class vehicle in which her lover, Dodi Fayed, and the driver, Henri Paul, also were killed.
Very few of the photos taken by paparazzi and passers by on the night of the crash in August 1997 have surfaced in the media, and many were confiscated as evidence by the French legal authorities in the aftermath of the crash in the Pont d'Alma in Paris.
The broadcaster said the images shown in the program, which was made by its history department, have been "carefully and sensitively selected" and that the identities of those in the car had been blacked out.
"These photographs are an important and accurate eyewitness record of how events unfolded after the crash," a Channel 4 statement said.
"We acknowledge there is great public sensitivity surrounding pictures of the victims and these have not been included," Channel 4 said, adding that it believed the events were the subject of "genuine public interest" to know how the events leading to Diana's death had unfolded.
The broadcaster's comment have not mollified critics.
In an interview for BBC radio, long-time Diana family friend Rosa Monckton accused Channel 4 of using the footage to lure viewers and said it would damage her sons.
"They must have released the fact that they were using this image as part of their publicity campaign," Monckton told the "PM" program on BBC Radio 4. "Why else would people want to tune in? It's rather like how people stop on the motorway to look at car crashes, but they are summoning people, they are saying 'Roll up, roll up, come and look at this.'"
"She can't be hurt by this anymore but her sons can," she added.
Hugo Swire, the member of parliament who speaks for culture and media affairs for the opposition Conservative party, said the film would violate Diana's privacy and cause further grief to her sons.
"This kind of coverage must be deeply distressing to Princes William and Harry," Swire said. "It is difficult to see who will be served from broadcasting such sensational and private material," he said.
The Complete Article
The Princess Diana Death Pictures:
Are These Pictures Fakes?
It was an incredibly violent crash. No one was wearing a seatbelt. Paul and Fayed were dead. Dr. Frederic Maillez, an off duty emergency doctor, stopped his car 30 seconds later.
"I remember almost nobody around me walking toward the wreckage," he said. "And my first intention was to see if there were any victims."
An off-duty fireman was already tending to the bodyguard in the front seat. Without knowing who she was, and with little equipment, Maillez focused on Diana.
"She was laying on the floor of the car, she was unconscious," he said. "The first thing I had to do was to lift up her head, apply the respiratory bag so she could breathe a little bit better. What I could see is that she did not have any injury on her face. Her face was intact. Just a few drops of blood and that's it. She was still very beautiful, very sophisticated lady."
As Maillez worked, others began to arrive including the photographers who had been left behind.
"Little by little, there was more and more flash more and more photographs taken - there was like 'tsh tsh tsh,' " Maillez said.
So it would appear these pictures do match up to an eyewitness account of how Diana appeared after the accident.SOURCE
Outrage at screening of dying Princess Diana photo: Cannes documentary to show graphic picture for first time
Unlawful Killing, which will be shown at Cannes this week, is backed by the actor Keith Allen and Mohammed Fayed, whose son Dodi died with Diana.
The 90-minute film will include a graphic black and white close-up of Diana taken moments after the Mercedes carrying the couple crashed in a Paris underpass.
Crash: A photographer is first to reach Diana's smashed up Mercedes in 1997. The public have never seen close-up images of her dying
The distressing image, Diana’s blonde hair and features clearly visible, has never been publicly seen in this country.
It will be shown around the world but not in the UK, prompting Allen to say: ‘Pity, because at a time when the sugar rush of the Royal Wedding has been sending republicans into a diabetic coma, it could act as a welcome antidote.’
Similar pictures shown to the Diana inquest jury had her face heavily pixellated.
News that Allen, father of pop star Lily, is using the full photograph outraged close friends of the late Princess of Wales.
Icon: Diana's fame has meant that her death has been the subject of intense scrutiny. An inquest - held a decade later - found she was unlawfully killed
Rosa Monckton, who went on holiday with Diana a few weeks before she died, said: ‘If this is true this is absolutely disgusting.
‘The fact people are trying to make money – which is all that they are doing now – out of her death is quite frankly ... words fail me.’
A spokesman for St James’s Palace declined to comment but royal sources said Diana's sons would be sickened by the news.
One said: ‘They rather hope people would treat this with the contempt it deserves.’
He suggested that William and Harry would not be drawn into commenting for fear of giving Allen the oxygen of publicity.
Sources told the Daily Mail that the princes will never publicly comment about their mother because they view the issue as ‘the most intensely personal and private aspect of their very public lives’.
Allen’s film is due to be screened amid a blaze of publicity at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday and Mr Fayed is reported to be travelling to the south of France to help with the launch.
In 2008, after a six-month inquest which heard evidence from 250 witnesses and cost taxpayers an estimated £12million, a jury concluded that Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were unlawfully killed as a direct result of grossly negligent driving by drunk chauffeur Henri Paul, who also died in the crash.
The actions of photographers following the car were also cited.
Mr Fayed has accused Prince Philip of masterminding the 1997 crash in which Diana and Dodi died and even suggested that Prince Charles was involved.
He alleged the death plot took place to stop Diana marrying his Muslim son.
During the 2008 Diana inquest, the former Harrods owner described the royals as ‘that Dracula family’.
The photograph of Diana forms part of the trailer to Allen’s documentary on the film’s official website available in the UK.
Backers: The film, Unlawful Killing, is being supported by Mohammed Fayed, whose son Dodi died with Diana, and left-wing activist and actor Keith Allen, right
Getting ready: A screen is prepared on the beach for the 64th Cannes Film Festival in France, which is where the Diana documentary will be shown
The website proclaims: ‘Unlawful Killing is the story of the deaths of Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul.
‘It reveals a cover-up by the British Establishment culminating in a six-month inquest. Keith Allen’s ground-breaking documentary recreates key moments from the inquest and demonstrates how vital evidence of foul play was hidden from public scrutiny, how the royal family were exempted from giving evidence and how journalists, particularly those working for the BBC, systematically misreported the events and in particular, the verdict itself.
‘This is the story of how the world was deceived.’
Allen, in a piece for the Guardian newspaper last weekend, said: ‘My “inquest of the inquest” film contains footage of Diana recalling how the royals wanted her consigned to a mental institution, and the coroner repeatedly questioning the sanity of anyone who wondered if the crash was more than an accident.’
He said he asked every major UK broadcaster to commission a TV documentary about the inquest but they all refused.
Mourned: The gates of Kensington Palace adorned with tributes in 1997
He said Unlawful Killing was ‘not about a conspiracy before the crash, but a conspiracy after the crash. A conspiracy organised not by a single arch-fiend, but collectively by the British establishment’.
He said the film was being premiered in Cannes ‘because British lawyers insisted on 87 cuts before any UK release.
'So rather than butcher the film, we’re showing in France, then the U.S., and everywhere except the UK.’
A spokesman for the filmmakers said: ‘The picture has been published in full before, in many parts of the world. We acquired the image from an Italian magazine, which had already published it in full. It is also widely available on the web.
‘We are therefore not publishing anything that the rest of the world has not already seen elsewhere.’
A spokesman for Mr Fayed said: ‘He was not aware that any photograph taken of any occupant of the car was going to be in this film.
‘He is appalled by that and will be taking all necessary steps to make sure it is not in the film.’