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NBC to air 'hidden' Diana video

The tape was hidden for years after Diana's death.
Princess of Wales Diana

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- NBC television network will broadcast a never-before-seen video tape of Diana, Princess of Wales, next week in which she says she suspects a member of her staff with whom she fell in love was "bumped off."

NBC said on Friday the two-part program starting next Monday includes excerpts of interviews Diana recorded with communications consultant Peter Settelen in her living room, discussing her childhood, marriage and struggle with bulimia.

Earlier this year NBC aired audio tapes Diana secretly recorded for a 1992 book that exposed the turmoil of her marriage to Prince Charles, whom she divorced in 1996. The princess was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

NBC said Diana met Settelen in September 1992, in the aftermath of the book by Andrew Morton, and had engaged him to train her in public speaking, a process that involved an on-camera interview to inspire confidence.

Excerpts of the program released in advance include comments by Diana on the lack of sympathy from her mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth when Diana went to her having discovered that Prince Charles was having an affair.

NBC said one section of the interview was "on falling in love with a member of her palace staff, presumed to be Royal Policeman Barry Mannakee, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1987."

"It was all found out and he was chucked out," Diana is quoted as saying. "And then he was killed. And that was the biggest blow of my life, I must say. And I think he was bumped off. But, um, there we are. I don't ... we'll never know, he was the greatest fellow I've ever had."

The two-hour special, which also features an interview with Settelen, is to be broadcast in two parts, on November 29 and December 6.

"This unusual tape, recorded in Diana's living room, hidden for years after her death, and fought over for months in the British courts, offers a view of the princess quite different from the formal public face she usually put forth," NBC said.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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