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Photos of dying princess spark outrage

By Associated Press
Published April 23, 2004

LONDON - Princess Diana's brother said Thursday that he was "sickened" that CBS had broadcast photos of the princess as she lay dying after a car accident - the first time a major media outlet has published pictures of the injured princess.

The British press expressed front-page outrage, while Prime Minister Tony Blair called the broadcast of the grainy black-and-white images "distasteful."

Wednesday's 48 Hours Investigates briefly showed two pictures taken by paparazzi at the scene of the Aug. 31, 1997, accident in Paris. Diana died hours later. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and chauffeur, Henri Paul, also were killed.

The network insisted the pictures - which show an unconscious Diana being treated by a doctor as she lay slumped in the back of a car - were not graphic.

The pictures were shown in context of an interview with the doctor who first treated Diana at the scene, and illustrated his comments about her condition at the time, CBS spokeswoman Sandra Genelius said.

Britain's muckraking tabloid press, which has refrained from publishing similar photos since Diana's death in 1997, expressed anger at what The Sun called the "horrific pictures."

The office of Diana's former husband, Prince Charles, and her two sons, declined to comment.

A brief statement released on behalf of Diana's brother said: "Lord Spencer and his family are shocked and sickened by CBS's actions."

Dodi Fayed's father, Mohamed al Fayed, said CBS had behaved in a "disgraceful and insensitive" manner.

CBS doesn't care "about the appalling effect of showing images of murder victims," said Fayed, who has long insisted that Diana and his son were murdered. A lengthy French investigation concluded the crash was an accident caused by drunk and speeding driver Paul.

CBS said the pictures were included in a confidential French investigators' file on the accident. No major media outlet had previously run pictures of the injured princess, although several are believed to have been offered for sale.

[Last modified April 23, 2004, 01:20:38]

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