(CNN Business) – The BBC journalist who conducted an explosive 1995 interview with Princess Diana resigned for health reasons shortly before a report was released investigating whether he acted inappropriately to secure Diana’s involvement.
Martin Bashir has been charged with use forged documents to convince Diana to conduct the interview, which caused a crisis within the royal family by detailing the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.
A BBC spokesman said the report, by former judge Lord Dyson, will be published “very soon.” The corporation announced on Friday that Bashir, who has been battling multiple health problems for several months, will step down from his current position as religion editor.
Bashir has long been alleged to have used false documents suggesting that palace staff were working against Princess Diana and were being paid to spy on her, CNN anchor and correspondent Max Foster reported.
Matt Weissler, a former BBC graphic designer, said he created the fake bank statements after Bashir approached him and said he needed “some bank statements.” Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer claimed that Bashir misled him by showing him the fake bank statements, prompting him to introduce him to his sister.
During the highly publicized interview, Diana told Bashir that there were “three” in her marriage to Carlos, referring to Camilla Parker Bowles, whom Carlos would later marry.
Buckingham Palace was stunned by the 1995 interview, according to Charles Anson, the queen’s press secretary at the time. “There wasn’t much we could say,” Anson previously told CNN.
BBC Director General Tim Davie said in a statement last year that he will “do everything he can to get to the bottom of this” when he announced the independent investigation. Bashir has not commented publicly on the allegations, and on Friday the BBC press office said: “Martin Bashir does not wish to be contacted by the media and will not make public comment at this time.”
On Friday, Jonathan Munro, the BBC’s deputy news director, sent an email to staff confirming that Bashir would be leaving the corporation.
“He made his decision known to us last month, just before he was readmitted to the hospital for another surgical procedure on his heart,” the email read. “Although he underwent major surgery late last year, he faces some ongoing problems and has decided to focus on his health. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.
CNN Business’s Alexis Benveniste contributed to this report.