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Diana fund freezes cash to fight suit

London, July 11 (Reuters): A memorial fund for Britain’s late Princess Diana that helps some of her favourite charity causes round the world said today it had frozen its cash as part of its fight against a lawsuit from a US firm.

“This is a major crisis,” the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund’s chief executive Andrew Purkis said. “We are a humanitarian force but it could all go down the pan. We are doing our damnedest to make sure it doesn’t.” The fund, first set up to channel £19 million of gifts amid the outpouring of grief after Diana’s death, said it had halted grants as part of a transatlantic spat over memorial trinkets with US firm Franklin Mint.

The privately-held Pennsylvania firm launched a $25 million “malicious prosecution” lawsuit last year to counter-sue the Diana fund after it tried but failed to stop Franklin Mint using her name and image for souvenir items in the US.

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