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I quit over Diana pressure, says Al Fayed employee.

A former employee of Mohamed al Fayed said yesterday that he quit his job after being pressurised to help with a "falsification" about Diana, Princess of Wales's relationship with Dodi.

Reuben Murrell said he left to protect his "integrity" after being asked to tell journalists elaborate details about the couple's visit to Mr Al Fayed's Paris home, the Villa Windsor, hours before their deaths.

He also told the couple's inquest that he felt his employer wanted him to "contain" the family of crash survivor Trevor Rees Jones after the tragedy, seemingly to prevent them speaking out.

Mr Murrell ran security at the Villa - the house where the former Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson once lived in exile - at the time of the crash, the court was told.

The jury has already heard claims that the pair would have married and settled in the Villa Windsor had they not died in a car crash in the early hours of August 31, 1997.

Mr Murrell told the court that they called in to the villa for just 28 minutes on the afternoon of August 30, seemingly as a way of losing paparazzi. But he said he was later told to elaborate on the visit to two American journalists on instructions he said he understood to emanate from "the boss" - meaning Mohamed al Fayed.

He said he was told to tell the reporters that, in addition to Diana and Dodi, an interior designer accompanied them that day, which would back up the suggestion they were about to set up home at the Villa.

Asked about why he had left his job, he said: "I could see how the story - the part I knew of surrounding the Villa Windsor visit - was being elaborated to demonstrate a more detailed relationship between the couple."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 18, 2008
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