Dodi Fayed: Get to Know the Wealthy Movie Producer Before Watching ‘The Crown’ Season 6

dodi fayed smiles at the camera and wears a blue, white and cream plaid jacket over a white collared shirt
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Latest News: Khalid Abdalla Returns as Dodi Fayed for The Crown Season 6

The Crown, Netflix’s hit series about Queen Elizabeth II and the British royal family, returns for its sixth and final season on November 16. With it, actor Khalid Abdalla revisits his role portraying wealthy Harrods heir Dodi Fayed, who was Princess Diana’s love interest in the summer of 1997. Abdalla first appeared as Fayed in The Crown Season 5. The show’s final season depicts Fayed’s brief relationship with Diana and their tragic death in Paris.

“People know [Fayed’s] name, and they know virtually nothing else about him,” Abdalla said about his role. “One of the things that makes me proudest about playing him is that finally, after 26 years, we get to know him a little. We hopefully get to love him a little. And then finally, after 26 years, we can mourn him.”

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Who Was Dodi Fayed?

Dodi Fayed was an Egyptian movie producer better known for his lavish lifestyle that his billionaire father, the owner of Harrods department store in London, supported. Fayed produced several movies in the 1980s and early 1990s, including Chariots of Fire, F/X, Steven Spielberg’s Hook. In summer 1997, Fayed had a short relationship with Princess Diana. On August 31, 1997, the couple died in a car accident in a Paris tunnel while being chased by paparazzi. Fayed was 42.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed
BORN: April 15, 1955
DIED: August 31, 1997
BIRTHPLACE: Alexandria, Egypt
SPOUSE: Suzanne Gregard (c. 1986-1987)

Early Life and Father

Dodi Fayed was born Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed on April 15, 1955, in Alexandria, Egypt. Dodi was the son of Mohamed Al Fayed, who became a billionaire business magnate, and Samira Khashoggi, whose brother was billionaire weapons dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

mohamed al fayed stands in front of a green harrods background, he wears a black suit jacket and tie with a multicolored collared shirt
Mohamed Al Fayed built a successful shipping conglomerate before buying Harrods department store in London in 1985.Getty Images

Dodi’s parents split up in 1956 when the boy was still very young. His father received full custody in the divorce, but Dodi was often left with servants as Mohamed built a shipping business that later sprawled into construction, oil, banking, real estate, and retail. Dodi attended Collège Saint Marc in Egypt then went to the Swiss boarding school Institut Le Rosey.

In 1974, 19-year-old Fayed enrolled in a six-month course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Britain. Afterward, he worked as an attaché at the United Arab Emirates embassy in London (Fayed had Egyptian and UAE citizenship). He also enjoyed London nightlife and a luxurious lifestyle backed by his increasingly wealthy father.

Movies: Chariots of Fire and More

Supported by his wealthy father, Fayed started a movie production company called Allied Stars Ltd. in 1979. The company bankrolled several movies, starting with Breaking Glass (1980).

Their next film, 1981’s Chariots of Fire, went on to win four Oscars, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. Fayed received an executive producer credit on Chariots of Fire but wasn’t intimately involved in making the movie. Another producer said of his role, “Dodi came on the set for a couple of days, and he came for some postproduction.” He was a hands-off producer on his other movies, too.

Yet the triumph of Chariots of Fire spurred Fayed to relocate his company to Los Angeles. He next produced 1986’s F/X. This movie was a hit, followed by a less successful sequel in 1991. That same year, Fayed was an executive producer for Steven Spielberg’s Hook, starring Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams and Julia Roberts. He received this credit because he’d sold part of the movie rights to Peter Pan, the J.M. Barrie story that inspired Hook.

Fayed also helped fund 1995’s The Scarlet Letter, which starred Demi Moore. However, he got into trouble when he sold distribution rights that he didn’t control for the film.

Net Worth

Fayed’s exact net worth during his lifetime isn’t available, but several media reports described him as a millionaire or multimillionaire.

He had access to his family’s yachts, jets, and homes. He spent money on things like luxurious rentals, high-end cars, personal security, and parties. His father provided him with a monthly allowance, reported as either $100,000 or £400,000. However, Fayed could overspend and sometimes ducked out on rent and other expenses. Several creditors ended up taking Fayed to court.

Despite much support, Fayed never managed to match his wealthy father’s success. Mohamed had acquired London’s famous Harrods department store in 1985 and in 1989 added Dodi to the board. Dodi resigned within two years. Mohamed also purchased a Ferrari dealership for his son, but this venture didn’t work out either. Meanwhile, in addition to controlling Harrods until 2010, Mohamed owned England’s Fulham Football Club for 16 years and the Ritz Paris hotel. Before he died in August 2023, multiple estimates placed Mohamed’s net worth around $2 billion.

Girlfriends and Ex-Wife: Kelly Fisher, Suzanne Gregard, and More

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Brooke Shields and Dodi Fayed circa January 1985

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Fayed and Suzanne Gregard were married for eight months in the late 1980s.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Fayed’s ex Kelly Fisher held a press conference with her lawyer Gloria Allred on August 14, 1997, to discuss her lawsuit against the movie producer.

Fayed was a playboy who enjoyed spending time with women. He was linked to Frank Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatra, actor and model Brooke Shields, and actor Winona Ryder, among others.

In the 1980s, he had an eight-month marriage to model Suzanne Gregard. According to some reports, including a Vanity Fair article for which Gregard had been interviewed, they were married on December 31, 1986, just days after Dodi had proposed. However, other media articles say their marriage began and ended in 1987.

Just before beginning his romantic entanglement with Princess Diana, Fayed was connected to model Kelly Fisher. They were reportedly engaged in the summer of 1997 after two years of dating, according to The Guardian. When Fayed left the relationship to pursue Diana, Fisher was distraught and sued him for breach of contract, claiming he had convinced her to give up her career only to dump her for Diana. She sought $440,000 but dropped the lawsuit after Fayed’s death.

Relationship with Princess Diana

princess diana sits at the back of a boat in a green and blue swimsuit, several other people and children are onboard including a man holding a rope on the front of the boat
In July 1997, Princess Diana vacationed with her sons, Princes William and Harry, in Saint Tropez, France, with Mohamed Al Fayed’s family. During the trip, Diana and Dodi Fayed reportedly began a romantic relationship.Getty Images

Fayed first encountered Diana, Princess of Wales at a polo match in the 1980s, but they didn’t start a relationship until 1997, after she had divorced then-Prince Charles. That July, Fayed’s father hosted Diana and her sons, Princes William and Harry, for a vacation with his family in the south of France. Mohamed asked Dodi to join them and reportedly encouraged his son to be with the princess.

After her children returned to the United Kingdom, Diana spent more time with Dodi. Paparazzi photographed a blurry kiss on the Jonikal, one of the Fayed family’s yacht, then pursued the couple throughout August.

Dodi and Diana’s relationship drew even more attention when his ex Kelly Fisher held a press conference on August 14 about her lawsuit against him. Fisher wore the sapphire-and-diamond ring Fayed had given her and cried at times. She also invited Diana to meet so Fisher could share information about Fayed before their relationship progressed.


princess diana and dodi fayed memorial at harrods includes framed photos of both in front of white roses and other floral greenery
A memorial for Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed at Harrods after their deathsGetty Images

Fayed died on August 31, 1997, in a car crash in Paris with Princess Diana. He was 42.

On August 30, Fayed and Diana had arrived in Paris. That night they went to dinner at the Ritz hotel, which Fayed’s father had purchased in 1979. Paparazzi continued to follow them, including when the pair left the hotel.

With photographers chasing the Mercedes that Fayed and Diana were in, the driver sped up. After entering the Pont d’Alma tunnel, the car slammed into a pillar in the early hours of August 31. Fayed and the driver were killed instantly. Diana died a few hours after the crash. The fourth passenger, a bodyguard, survived. According to an official police report, authorities believe no one in the car was wearing a seat belt.

Following their deaths, a rumor spread that Fayed had proposed to Diana. This was never confirmed. In 2008, a British inquest found that Diana and Fayed’s deaths were the result of both the paparazzi’s pursuit and their driver’s negligence. The driver had not only exceeded the speed limit, but he’d also been drunk at the time of the crash.

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