New York, Nov 12 (Reuters): Paul Burrell, Princess Diana’s former butler who has told secrets about her life in a series of sensational interviews, stepped into the spotlight in New York yesterday and denied having a videotape about a gay rape claim at a British royal palace.
During Burrell’s recent London trial on charges of stealing Diana’s possessions the court was told the late princess had taped an account by a former royal servant that he was raped by one of Prince Charles’ male servants in 1989 and that Diana locked the tape away.
No such tape has been discovered, but there has been speculation in Britain that it may have been in his possession.
Burrell sought to distance himself from the issue, which has caused a ferment in the British media, saying it was police and prosecutors who raised the subject in court.
“It was they, not me or my family, who first mentioned in court a sensitive tape about a rape claim at a royal palace,” he said.
“The clear implication in court was that these items were in my possession. They never have been and never were.”
Burrell, in New York for a television interview, issued a statement at a hotel insisting that he made his disclosures about Diana not for money but to ensure the truth were told.
“Telling my story was never about money,” Burrell said. “It was only ever about truth and justice and telling it honestly and properly.” After reading his statement, Burrell, his wife Maria and their two teenage sons, Nicholas and Alexander, posed for pictures in Times Square, attracting throngs of photographers and onlookers.