Controversial Princess Diana film dropped

Claudine Zap
·Claudine Zap

A controversial documentary delving into the details of Princess Diana's death will not see the light of day in the United States or Britain.

The film, "Unlawful Killing," directed by Keith Allen, claims the princess and her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed, were murdered in a plot involving her former father-in-law, Prince Philip. The movie was financed by Dodi Al Fayed's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, who has always believed the deaths were suspicious and not an accident.

Dodi and Diana were killed while speeding through a Paris tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997.

(Watch a brief video about Princess Diana's life.)

According to the Sun, the filmmakers could not secure insurance to cover liability for potential lawsuits over the film, which first aired at the Cannes Film Festival.

Lawyers had told the filmmakers that in order for the film to be shown in Britain, 87 cuts surrounding contentious allegations would have to be made.

A spokesman for the film told the publication, "'Unlawful Killing' has been sold all around the world. But there was a specific form of insurance needed by the U.S. distributors to cover them for their French and U.K. offices. This proved impossible to secure. The film has been withdrawn in perpetuity."

The plan had been to release the film in the U.S. in August to be timed to the 15th anniversary of Princess Diana's death.

According to an inquest in 2008, the deaths were found to be due to "gross negligence" of the drunken driver, Henri Paul, as well as the paparazzi who pursued them. The two passengers also were not wearing seat belts, contributing to their deaths, the jury found.

Royal historian Hugo Vickers noted in an email to Yahoo News that "a huge report published a while back disproved all these theories, so I am not surprised that the film has had to be dropped." He added, "It is a pity that people cannot leave this story alone. It was an accident which took place in an atmosphere of chaos, which is exactly when accidents like that happen."