'Di was Michael's downfall'.Byline: STEVE ATKINSON Steven John "Steve" Atkinson (October 16, 1948 - May 6, 2003) was a Canadian ice hockey player who played the positions of center and right wing.
Originally drafted in 1966 by the Detroit Red Wings, he was immediately traded to the Boston Bruins.
MICHAEL Barrymore's ex-wife Cheryl has claimed his friendship with Princess Diana Noun 1. Princess Diana - English aristocrat who was the first wife of Prince Charles; her death in an automobile accident in Paris produced intense national mourning (1961-1997)
Diana, Lady Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales led to his self-destruction.
Diana first met the couple in the mid-90s soon after Barrymore admitted he was gay.
TV interviewer Martin Bashir Martin Bashir (born January 19 1963 arranged for the princess to visit them at their home in London. , in London) is a British journalist of Pakistani descent.
Cheryl said: "When she left we joked 'The Barrymores courted by royalty. Who'd have thought it?'
"She'd say only three people counted to the media: Herself, Michael and Paul Gascoigne."
But as the visits became more regular, Diana wanted to see Barrymore alone and Cheryl had to "tip-toe around" like an outcast.
She said: "Diana seemed to feel she would help him unload his troubles."
Cheryl finally snapped and shouted at Diana: "There's a car outside. Shouldn't you be in it?"
Barrymore then started to visit Diana at her own home, claiming he was entertaining her two sons.
Cheryl added: "Michael became attracted to the madness he'd once have laughed at. She arrived in our lives at a moment when Michael needed hope and she gave him that.
"But she took away much of the reality in our lives and in the end took control of his life."
SPLIT: Barrymores; VISITS: Diana