Police in the U.K. have ruled out reopening an investigation into the death of Diana, Princess Of Wales after dismissing allegations suggesting special forces soldiers were involved in her fatal car crash. The British royal was killed in a road traffic accident in Paris, France in 1997 along with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur, Henri Paul, and the case was back in the news over the summer (13) after police received a tip-off.
The new information suggested members of Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) were involved in circumstances leading to the accident.
Officers spent several months looking into the claim, but Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has now confirmed they will not be pursuing the case any further.
In a statement obtained by Sky News, he says, "Every reasonable line of enquiry was objectively pursued in order to fully evaluate any potential evidence... Whilst there is a possibility that the alleged comments in relation to the SAS' involvement in the death may have been made, there is no credible or relevant evidence to support a theory that such claims had any basis in fact.
"Having reviewed the exercise and its findings, I am satisfied that there is no evidential basis upon which therefore to re-open any criminal homicide investigation or refer the matter back to the coroner."
An inquest in 2008 returned a verdict of unlawful killing, attributed in part to the negligence of the car's driver.
British police are looking into new information surrounding the deaths of Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed. The new file includes claims a member of the British military was involved in the pair's death in Paris, France in 1997.
The information emerged during the second court martial of Sergeant Danny Nightingale, who was found guilty of illegally possessing a gun and ammunition. It is claimed Nightingale's former colleague, known only as Soldier N, boasted that the SAS "was behind Princess Diana's death".
Royal Military Police officers have now passed the information to the Metropolitan Police. They will assess the new claims but insist Operation Paget, the 2008 inquiry into the British royal's death, has not been reopened.
A spokesperson says, "The Metropolitan Police Service is scoping information that has recently been received in relation to the deaths and assessing its relevance and credibility.
"The assessment will be carried out by officers from the specialist crime and operations command. This is not a re-investigation and does not come under Operation Paget."
The princess and Fayed were killed in car crash in a tunnel in Paris, along with their chauffeur Henri Paul.
Veteran star Paul Anka is facing legal action from Mohamed Al-Fayed over allegations the singer defamed the former Harrods boss in his autobiography. Al-Fayed maintains Anka portrays his son Dodi Fayed, the lover of late British royal Diana, Princess of Wales, in a negative light in his new title My Way.
The billionaire tycoon also claims the book contains false stories about the businessman repeatedly bailing Dodi out of trouble, but Anka is standing by the accounts in his memoir, telling TMZ.com, "We have the evidence. We're very confident in this. Everything is true."
Unlawful Killing, directed by the British actor - father of pop star Lily Allen, documents the 2008 inquest into the beloved royal's death in a 1997 Paris car accident, which also killed her companion Dodi Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul.
The documentary caused outrage in Britain after Allen chose to include a graphic black-and-white photograph of Diana moments after the crash, as rescue workers fought to save her - an image which has never been published in the U.K.
Allen defended his decision to use the grizzly snap, insisting the image was not used to shock or to boost the film's appeal.
But the controversy leading up to the movie's premiere proved irrelevant - reviewers invited to attend the big screening were left unimpressed by the piece and either left early or stayed behind to challenge Allen in a press conference about his film's criticisms and attacks on Britain's royal family.
According to the U.K.'s Independent newspaper, reporters grew angry about the documentary after Allen labelled the royals "gangsters in tiaras" and claimed that journalists never questioned the monarchy as they "wanted knighthoods".
The filmmaker also reportedly became embroiled in an argument with Martyn Gregor, writer of a biography on the Princess of Wales' death, who heckled Allen throughout the premiere.
Daily Mail critic Baz Bamigboye has also dismissed the film as "unlawfully dull" and slammed Allen for approaching Dodi's businessman father Mohammed Al-Fayed for financial backing, insisting the documentary is nothing more than "the ramblings of a sour old man who misses his son".
The Shallow Grave star, father of pop star Lily Allen, has directed new movie Unlawful Killing, which is due to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Friday (13May11).
The film documents the British royal's death in a 1997 Paris car accident, which also killed her companion Dodi Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul. A 2008 inquest ruled Paul caused the crash through grossly negligent driving.
Allen's decision to include a graphic black and white photograph of Diana moments after the crash, as rescue workers fought to save her, has been met with outrage from critics and Fayed's businessman father Mohammed Al-Fayed.
But the star has defended the use of the image in the movie in an article written for Britain's Daily Mail, stating, "The photo is not used in the film for the purpose of shock."
Allen has also addressed claims he made the controversial film for financial reasons: "I've been accused of seeking to make money out of a much-loved woman's death by making this documentary. That accusation is cheap, untrue and unworthy of those who make it.
"Frankly if it was simply money I was after, then I wouldn't have spent three long years making a documentary. I'd simply have signed up for another lucrative Hollywood blockbuster."
The Shallow Grave star, father of pop star Lily Allen, has directed new movie Unlawful Killing, due to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in France, which kicks off on Wednesday (11May11).
The film documents the British royal's death in a 2007 Paris car accident, which also killed her companion Dodi Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul. A 2008 inquest ruled Paul caused the crash through grossly negligent driving.
Allen's movie is set to show a controversial photograph of Diana moments after the crash as rescue workers fought to save her. The graphic black and white image has never been shown in the U.K. and its inclusion in the film has already angered Fayed's businessman father Mohammed Al-Fayed.
A representative for Fayed tells Britain's Daily Mail, "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."
A spokesman for the filmmakers adds, "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."
The business tycoon father of Dodi Fayed, the lover of the late Princess Diana, has issued a statement confirming his interest in the home of many of the James Bond films.
He says he is "considering making an all-cash offer for Pinewood".
Al Fayed, who sold luxury department store Harrods last year (10) for almost $2.5 billion, previously owned a studio in his native Egypt and funded the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
The studio was recently valued at $143.5 million (£89.6 million).
Blair took office months before the princess died in a car crash in a Paris, France tunnel in 1997 and admits it was one of the first major tragedies he had to face as Prime Minister.
But, in an interview with newswoman Christiane Amanpour on Good Morning America on Thursday (02Sep10), the politician revealed he was worried something terrible would happen.
He said, "I was worried because it (her relationship with Fayed) was obviously going to be extremely difficult. And I wanted her to know what the implications and consequences of all of it was going to be."
Blair admits that, like most of Britain, he struggled to come to terms with the tragedy, adding, "Partly because of the loss, but partly because of the circumstances in which she died, there was also a sense of anger.
"Some of that anger was directed at the paparazzi, but some of it, I think, was directed at the establishment that people felt had let her down in some way."
Diana died in a car crash in Paris, France in 1997 along with her lover Dodi Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul. The couple's bodyguard survived.
The five-year investigation into the tragedy found Paul, 41, was over the country's drink-drive limit and ruled the deaths accidental.
However, in a subsequent examination by France's civil Court of Grand Instance, a judge found some aspects of the investigation "dysfunctional," including a mix-up over Paul's post-mortem and blood tests which delayed the inquiry for two years.
The judge criticised French authorities for failing to respond quickly enough to a complaint by Fayed's father Mohamed Al-Fayed, who alleged Paul's blood tests had been forged to make him appear drunk behind the wheel. Subsequent re-testing delayed the investigation.
The French judge maintained that although "formal mistakes" had been made, they "had no long-term repercussions on the revealing of the truth."
The court ordered the state of France to pay $7,500 (£5,000) in damages to Al-Fayed.
Top Story: Downey Jr. Ends Marriage
Actor Robert Downey Jr. and his estranged wife, actress-model Deborah Falconer, have officially called it quits after 12 years, Reuters reports. The couple, who have been separated for eight years, filed divorce papers this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, publicist Alan Nierob said. "This is more or less just a formality," he told Reuters. Downey, 39, and Falconer were wed in 1992 after a 42-day courtship. Their 10-year-old son, Indio, will continue to live with his mother, but Downey "remains very involved in the upbringing of his son," Nierob said.
Gay Harden Gives Birth to Twins
Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden and her husband, Thaddaeus Scheel, welcomed twins--a boy, Hudson Harden Scheel, and a girl, Julitta Dee Harden Scheel--last Thursday in Los Angeles, The Associated Press reports. "Everyone is doing fine," Harden's publicist Carri McClure told AP. "They're not getting a lot of sleep, but everyone is doing well." The couple also have a 5-year-old daughter, Eulala Grace.
Joel Expected To Pay for Damages
A 93-year-old woman whose house singer Billy Joel slammed into over the weekend expects the singer/songwriter to pay for repairs, AP reports. Maria Dono of Bayville, New York, returned from a shopping trip Sunday afternoon to discover the accident and told the New York Post, "He hit my bushes and the wall. He'd better come fix it. I'm sure he has money." Claire Mercuri, a spokeswoman for Joel, said the Joel's "main concern" was to repair the damage. "He's taken immediate steps to make sure it's repaired as quickly as possible," Mercuri told the Post. Joel apparently skidded on the wet road and hit Dono's house, with no evidence of alcohol or drug involvement.
Elton John Calls Idol Racist
Elton John thinks American Idol's voting system by the national viewing audience may be "incredibly racist," Reuters reports. John, who was a guest judge on the hit show a few weeks ago, was among the many who voiced their shock at the dismissal of talented contestant Jennifer Hudson last week. "The three people I was really impressed with, and they just happened to be black, young female singers, and they all seem to be landing in the bottom three," said John, commenting on the tally in which the lowest vote-getter is eliminated. "They have great voices. The fact that they're constantly in the bottom three--and I don't want to set myself up here--but I find it incredibly racist," John said at a news conference promoting his Radio City Music Hall concert. The other two singers grouped in the bottom three of the seven remaining American Idol finalists last week were divas La Toya London and Fantasia Barrino. Black singer Ruben Studdard won the title last year.
Crowe Helps Out Fire-Bombed School
Upon learning of a Jewish elementary school bombing earlier this month in Montreal, Russell Crowe immediately offered aid to the school, Reuters reports. "He said he was very upset about what had happened that a place of learning should be attacked that way," Shelley Paris, a spokeswoman for the United Talmud Torahs elementary school told Reuters. The Oscar-winning actor, on location in Toronto filming Ron Howard's Cinderella Man, made a donation to help rebuild the school's library. Police said a note with anti-Semitic comments was found on the outside wall of the gutted library after the bombing.
Mohamed Al Fayed Rails Against CBS
Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed, who was killed with Princess Diana in the fateful 1997 car crash, has filed suit against CBS for emotional distress, Reuters reports, citing the network's broadcast last week which showed a photo of Diana as she lay dying. Fayed's lawyer Fred Gaines said on Tuesday that a lawsuit claiming invasion of privacy and emotional distress was filed in Los Angeles late last week. Although no pictures of Dodi were shown, Fayed had been concerned that CBS also planned to show pictures of his son dying. The CBS program examined the number of conspiracy theories in the princess' death, put forward principally by Fayed, including his belief Diana and Dodi were murdered because their relationship was an embarrassment to the British royal family.
Comcast Isn't Buying Disney Out
Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, withdrew its unsolicited $48.4 billion to buy Walt Disney Co. Wednesday, after the Mouse House refused to open negotiations, Reuters reports. "Unfortunately it has become abundantly clear that Disney does not share our interests," Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts told Reuters on a conference call. "I am very comfortable with our decision to withdraw even though it is not the outcome I had hoped for." Speculating where Comcast may set its sights on next, Reuters reports Roberts gave investors a hint when he said he expected Comcast to take a serious look at Adelphia, the bankrupt cable company that recently announced it was seeking a buyer.
CBS Continues to Lead the Pack
Despite some strong showings from NBC's Friends and Fox's American Idol, CBS still came out on top in total viewership as the television season winds to an end, AP reports. CBS had 11.7 million viewers followed by NBC (11 million), Fox (8.8 million), ABC (7.1 million), the WB (3.4 million) and UPN (2.8 million). For the week of April 18-25, the top 10 shows included: American Idol (Tuesday), Fox; Friends, NBC; American Idol (Wednesday) Fox; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; CSI: Miami, CBS; Survivor: All-Stars, CBS; Friends, NBC; ER, NBC; Law & Order, NBC; Will & Grace, NBC.
Role Call: Theron's Jinxed
Charlize Theron is in negotiations to star in and produce Jinx, a film based on the comic book of the same name. The comic book centers on a bounty hunter who must learn to trust a wanted criminal so they can team up to find millions of dollars of abandoned mob money in order to start a new life together. Brian Michael Bendis, who spent two and half years writing and illustrating the comic, will adapt his own work for Universal Pictures. "This is not the traditional comic book movie, which tends to be more about concept," Bendis told the Hollywood Reporter. "This is a crime novel that is illustrated so you're more interested in the voice of it."