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BBC's Martin Bashir quits for medical reasons amid Princess Diana interview probe

BBC correspondent Martin Bashir, under investigation for forging documents to win an interview with Princess Diana, is leaving the network for health reasons, the BBC reported Friday.

“Martin Bashir has stepped down from his position as the BBC's Religion Editor, and is leaving the corporation,” the deputy director of BBC News, Jonathan Munro, said in an article on the BBC website.

“He let us know of his decision last month, just before being readmitted to hospital for another surgical procedure on his heart. Although he underwent major surgery toward the end of last year, he is facing some ongoing issues and has decided to focus on his health,” Munro added.

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Bashir had contracted COVID-19 and also underwent quadruple bypass surgery, the BBC reported.

However, he is also under investigation for forging bank statements to secure his famous 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, that brought him to international prominence and won him a BAFTA TV award.

Some 22.8 million UK viewers watched Diana admit to Bashir she had been unfaithful and describe Prince Charles's relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. She also described battling depression and bulimia.

Though it has apologized for the forged statements, the BBC has said the documents did not play a part in Diana’s decision to agree to the interview.

The BBC has asked retired Supreme Court judge Lord Dyson to conduct an internal inquiry into the scandal. However, it reported, Bashir will not face criminal charges.

In 2013, Bashir was forced to quit an eponymous MSNBC show for making vulgar comments about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).