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Princess Diana's close friend pulls out of 'The Crown' consultant role over treatment of Diana's final years

Zac Ntim   

Princess Diana's close friend pulls out of 'The Crown' consultant role over treatment of Diana's final years
  • Jemima Khan, Princess Diana's close friend, has severed ties with "The Crown."
  • Khan had been drafted in to help write scripts for season five of the show.

Jemima Khan - a British TV producer and close friend of Princess Diana - has left her role as a consultant on "The Crown" because she believed the story of Diana's last years was not being handled "respectfully or compassionately" by the Netflix show.

Khan told The Sunday Times that she was hired by Peter Morgan, the creator and lead writer on "The Crown," to help craft scripts for the show's upcoming fifth season, which will depict the final years of Princess Diana's life, including her relationships with the heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, Dodi Fayed, and the bombshell BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir where Diana said her marriage was "a bit crowded" in reference to Camilla Parker Bowles.

"We worked together on the outline and scripts from September 2020 until February 2021," Khan told the publication. However, Khan said that when she realized the creative direction the show was heading in, she asked for all of her contributions to be removed.

"When our co-writing agreement was not honored, and when I realized that particular storyline would not necessarily be told as respectfully or compassionately as I had hoped, I requested that all my contributions be removed from the series and I declined a credit," she said.

Khan, who is the ex-wife of Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, added that she had initially accepted Morgan's invitation despite never speaking publicly about her friendship with Diana because she thought it was important "that the final years of my friend's life be portrayed accurately and with compassion, as has not always happened in the past."

This isn't the first time Netflix and Morgan have been criticized for their depiction of the British royals. Last year, the former British culture secretary Oliver Dowden touted plans that would have requested Netflix to add a disclaimer before every episode of "The Crown" clarifying that it's a work of fiction.

"Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact," Dowden told the Daily Mail.

In a statement to The Sunday Times, a Netflix spokesperson responded to Khan's claims. The statement read: "Jemima Khan has been a friend, fan, and a vocal public supporter of 'The Crown' since season one. She has been part of a wide network of well-informed and varied sources who have provided extensive background information to our writers and research team - providing context for the drama that is The Crown. She has never been contracted as a writer on the series."

The next series of "The Crown" is slated to hit Netflix in November 2022. The Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki, who is best known for roles in blockbusters like Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" and Steve McQueen's "Widows," will portray Diana replacing Emma Corrin.


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