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Interview With Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo, ``American Idol'' Winners/Interview With Members of Princess Diana's Staff and the Physician Who Treated Her at the Accident Scene in Paris

Aired May 28, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, the first live primetime interview with the American Idols themselves, winner Fantasia Barrino, runner-up Diana Degarmo, and they'll take your calls.

And then, secrets of Princess Diana's life and death with those who were there. Dr. Frederic Maillez, driving through the Alma (ph) tunnel in Paris moments after the crash that killed Diana. He was the first to tend to the dying princess. What were her last moments alive like? Patrick Jephson, Princess Diana's private secretary; Darren McGrady, Diana's personal chef the last four years of her life; and Dickie Arbiter, the former press secretary for the queen and for Di and her husband, Prince Charles.

And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: We begin with the best -- I guess the best -- two known -- best -- two best known women in America, Fantasia Barrino and Diana Degarmo, the winner and runner-up of the latest "American Idol." After weeks of performance, rehearsals, tens of millions of phone calls, the votes are in. Three months ago, they were unknown. Tonight they're famous.

Let's start by taking a look at Fantasia's big moment. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner of "American Idol 2004" is Fantasia Barrino!


KING: What was that like?

FANTASIA BARRINO, WON "AMERICAN IDOL" WEDNESDAY: You see how I jumped? I broke the heel on my shoe!

KING: Did you expect it? Come on.

BARRINO: No, not really because, you know, everybody is talented. Diana's a 16-year-old powerhouse.


BARRINO: And I told her, I said, you know, regardless of what happens, we're both winners, at this point. And when he said my name, I jumped and I broke my shoe. I was, like, oh, God, he said my name!

KING: Were you disappointed, Diana?

DEGARMO: You know what? At that point, I had just figured, Look at where I am. I made it to the top two. I couldn't have asked for anything more. Look at Clay Aiken (ph). I mean, he's triple platinum right now. So I was, like, Hey, if I get second place, I'm good. And I just felt so excited for Fantasia because she...

KING: Two of you became friends?


DEGARMO: Yes, she's like my big sister now, you know? And I was just so (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I was, like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) She got me crying and everything.

KING: There was a headline I saw in the paper that you knew the outcome before it was announced. Is that true?

DEGARMO: Different suspects, you know...

KING: Meaning?

DEGARMO: ... different things -- but like, we were singing different songs, and they said, Well, whoever wins will be singing "I Believe." And they were, like, Well -- so during the show, Diana, you're going to be singing, "I Believe," and then Fantasia's going to be singing "Dream." So whoever wins, you're going to be singing the other song. And I had already been told that the winner will be singing "I Believe." So I was, like, I know Fantasia's going to win!

BARRINO: But you remember, we flipped a coin, though!

DEGARMO: I know. It's cool, though. It's -- no, you know, it's -- it's no big deal. It was funny, but -- I -- you know, I had accepted that. I was, like, You know what? I'm cool if I win or if I lose. It's no big deal.

KING: Is it fair? Is the contest fair, as you see it?

BARRINO: Gosh, I knew you were going to ask me that! I guess it's fair.

KING: I mean, no -- I mean, you can vote 100 times, right?

BARRINO: Yes. I guess it is, but it was so hard this year because everybody was so talented.


BARRINO: And you know, we had good days and our bad days, and you know, I ended up in the bottom three a lot of times and -- everybody had a good show. Every Tuesday, some of us had good shows, some of us didn't have quite good shows and...

KING: And you're very self-critical, too? You know when you've had a good one and when you haven't?

BARRINO: Oh, yes. I always go to the back and be, like, Gosh, you know, you didn't do that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: Is it true, Diana, that in your last night, the last night there, there was a goof-up in sound or something? You didn't...

DEGARMO: Well, for Fantasia and I both. We both had problems with sound.

KING: Meaning what, they...

DEGARMO: Well, the Kodak Theater, No. 1, it's a completely different area, I mean, venue, like, so it sounds different to begin with. But we had these huge speakers off the side of the stage, and if they're not just right, it's really hard to hear yourself, no matter if the music's too loud or if the music's too low. So it...

KING: That's tough.

DEGARMO: Yes. It was -- it was really hard, and it ended up kind of affecting both of us, but it really affected me. I felt bad, but you know, like, it was -- because the place is different, the sound (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: You didn't let the audience know, though, right?

DEGARMO: I tried not to!

KING: Why did you enter this?

BARRINO: Well...

KING: I mean, you're a 19-year-old with a 2-year-old daughter, right?

BARRINO: Uh-huh.

KING: Are you married?

BARRINO: No, I'm not married.

KING: Oh. Why did you enter this?

BARRINO: I've never been in a competition before, and I said I'm going to go. I think -- I just love to sing.

KING: You've always sung, what, at socials and parties or...

BARRINO: Yes, churches, weddings.

KING: Grow up where?

BARRINO: High Point, North Carolina, started singing when I was 5 years old. I think my purpose was just to get out and sing. I love to sing. I wasn't even in it for the -- you know, the prize. I was, like, Hey, man, I'm going to sing. Forget that. And...

KING: Well, what was it like the first time you sang before a huge audience, a worldwide television audience?

BARRINO: It was fun. It was fun. I was, like, Hey...

KING: I mean, you're an amateur.

BARRINO: Yes, but you know, my thing is, I always want people to -- to get the message that I'm trying to send out. You know, I've been through some things, so when I get up there and sing my songs, I'm like, Hey, I've been through it, and I want to encourage somebody else that if you're going through it, you can come out.

KING: You feel beyond your 19 years, then?

BARRINO: A little.

KING: Yes? Why did you enter, Diana?

DEGARMO: I -- I -- like, the same thing as Fantasia. I...

KING: Where did you grow up?

DEGARMO: Right outside of Atlanta, Snowville (ph), Georgia. And you know, I love just singing, and that's been -- that's what I've wanted to do my entire life. And I sat here and thought, you know, I wanted -- I've always wanted to be a recognized singer and just -- just so people can hear my music, and thought, you know, look how many people watch "American Idol." Why not audition, you know? What's the -- you know, what's the worst, you know? I might not make it. It's OK. So I mean, it ended up being great for both of us, I think.

KING: Did you get along with the finalists? Were there any divas? You don't have to name them.


DEGARMO: No, you know, when they said that about us, we were, all, like, Oh, really? But we all got along. We're like family. You know, a lot of us left our family back at home, and we all became really, really close.

KING: How do you deal with the judges, like Simon?

DEGARMO: Well, you kind of take what -- you know, like, what they've said, and you let it come in one ear and you process it and you, like, go right off. You know, if you take the information and use it to what you can, and if it's bad, you know, opinion-wise, you...

KING: Did any of them help you...


DEGARMO: You know -- you know, I think, all in all, I think all three of them have given us really great critiques sometimes, which we have the next week. If we make it through, we're all, like, OK, I got to make sure I don't do this again.

KING: So a critique you can use.

DEGARMO: Yes. Yes. Definitely.

KING: Are they -- make you more nervous than the audience? I mean, who are you appealing to, the audience or them?

BARRINO: Mines is the audience. Simon, he always has to come back with something crazy, like the week he told me I sounded like Donald Duck and...

KING: When you heard that, what did you -- I'd have said, Quack.


KING: I mean, come on!

DEGARMO: I told him, I said, Well, that's for the kids, Simon. That one was for the kids. But I laughed. I said, Oh, man, he told me I sound like Donald Duck, and...

KING: But he's part of show business, too, right? So you understand that. He's supposed -- that was his shtick.

BARRINO: Yes. I don't let him get to me a lot of times. We argue a lot, me and Simon.

KING: Anybody bother you? Did he bother you?

DEGARMO: You know, he does -- he wants to get under your skin. That's his character. He's there to cause controversy and make people on the edge of their seats. And he does a great job of it, you know? But like we say, we know in the end of the show that he doesn't mean sometimes what he says, so you take -- take it what -- as it is.

KING: So what do you get out of this, Fantasia? You get a recording contract?

BARRINO: Yes. I got a new car. I've never had a car before. I got a Ford Focus. And I get to put out an album.

KING: A CD. That's done, right? That's a done deal.

BARRINO: Almost.

KING: What do you get?

DEGARMO: Well, they kind of say, I don't know, but I -- hopefully, I will be coming out with an album also. And we're going to get to go on tour soon, which is going to be amazing.

KING: Is that together?

BARRINO: All of us.

DEGARMO: All of us. The top 10 going on tour.

KING: Like, a paid professional tour?

DEGARMO: Yes. Yes. Fifty-two cities, like, all the way from New York, Atlanta, all the way, you know, to Hawaii. So it's going to be amazing. I...

KING: Who's taking care of your daughter?

BARRINO: My mother. She takes care of her.

KING: Let me get a break, and when we come back, we'll take some calls for Fantasia and Diana. What a night. What a story. And then we'll get into the tragic end of Princess Di, including having the doctor who was at the scene. We'll be right back with your calls for Fantasia and Diana on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) shows another talent as a true artist by reinventing yourself and showing that you'll never bore an audience by recreating (ph) yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you are without question the best contestant we've had in any competition.



KING: By the way, Diana Degarmo told me as we went to break that she was named after Princess Di.

DEGARMO: Yes. Yes.

KING: Wow.

DEGARMO: And I cried when she died. It was like my mom.

KING: St. Paul, Minnesota, as we go to calls for Fantasia and Diana. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Fantasia and Diana, you guys are fantastic!

DEGARMO: Thank you.

BARRINO: Thank you.

CALLER: Absolutely fantastic. I mean, you should be so proud of yourselves. I love you both so much. I just wanted to know how you feel this has changed your personal life, with your friends and your family, if it has or it hasn't. And again, best of luck to both of you.

KING: Fantasia, how's it changed you?

BARRINO: It's just I stay busy a lot. I don't get to really talk to a lot of my family. But I do get to see my daughter. I'm always on the go. After "The Idol," I do mommy duty. So it's a little tougher for me because I have to give her the attention, too, you know?

KING: Aren't you a big hero in the neighborhood?

BARRINO: Yes, in the neighborhood.


KING: What about you, Diana?

DEGARMO: Like, all the people that are close to me, you know, luckily, they have not changed in any viewpoint. But it is harder because people are calling and saying, Why can't you talk to me on the phone now? And I'm, like, I can't. I'm go about to go into an interview. It's a little bit harder on people that don't know what's going on.

KING: Montreal. Hello. Montreal, are you there?

CALLER: Hi. Fantasia?


CALLER: Hi. I just want to say how wonderful you are, and Diana also.

DEGARMO: Thank you.

BARRINO: Thank you.

CALLER: But I also want to ask you, Fantasia, if you are going to record "Summertime" on your album.

BARRINO: Yes, I am. I'm going to record "Summertime."

KING: Yes, you ought to because...

BARRINO: That is my favorite song.

KING: ... that's a unique version.

BARRINO: I've got to see the movie.

KING: You never saw "Porgy and Bess"?

BARRINO: No. Never seen the movie. KING: By the way, do you take courage in the fact that Clay Aiken, who was the runner-up last year, is outselling Ruben Stoddard (ph) in the record deal?

DEGARMO: You know, it makes me excited -- I mean, not that he's outselling Ruben, but that to see how far somebody that's made it into second place has gone. So it really does give you courage.

KING: It almost becomes like the top two are it, right? I mean...


BARRINO: Both winners.


KING: To Tucson, Arizona. Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please hang up and try again. If you need...

KING: Are you there, Tucson? OK. I don't know why they said, "Hang up and try again" because I heard Tucson trying to talk.


KING: OK, I'm trying to hang up line two. This is funny. This is the new phone company. Remember the old phone company? It worked easier.


KING: All did you was hock around with the hands and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Do you have a boyfriend, Diana?

DEGARMO: Oh, no. No, I don't. She says I'm not allowed to!


KING: Too young?

BARRINO: Yes. She can't have a boyfriend.

DEGARMO: I'm still working on that department. But there's a time and place for everything, so...

KING: Do you regret having a relationship early?

BARRINO: No. I don't.

KING: Because have you a daughter.

BARRINO: I do. She's -- she's my blessing.

KING: Is her father good to her? BARRINO: You know what? I can say it's just been me and her. It's just me and her.

KING: Oh, he's not present.

BARRINO: I'm a single mom. No, he's not.

KING: That's sad.

Paysville (ph), Utah. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Fantasia and Diana, I think you're both just incredible. I've loved watching you from the very beginning. And I just want to know what it's like to live in the house together and compete and still remain friends.

BARRINO: Well, Diana stays in the bathroom a lot.

DEGARMO: No, I do not! She sleeps until the very last minute and rolls out of bed and runs down to the car, saying, Don't leave me! Don't leave me!

BARRINO: It's cool. We're all like family. This is my sister. It's cool. It's not -- it wasn't a competition to me.

KING: What did you make about some of the controversy, people saying that the votes are rigged and the like?

DEGARMO: Well, luckily, we -- you know, like, our lives are kind in a bubble because we're running so fast at -- you know, never stopping to really -- we literally have not seen very much of TV in a long time, so I mean, we never really ever heard much about it, you know, just through hearsay of what people have said about it. We really, luckily, were never really affected by it.

KING: Farmington, Connecticut. Hello.

CALLER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Fantasia and Diana. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the whole competition. Anyways, my whole (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I just want to know, what kind of songs do you guys plan to sing on the tour?

DEGARMO: I think we're -- yearh, we're doing, like, soul, funk classics. And I think we're even going to do a Prince tribute. So it's going to be really, really hot. I suggest you come out.

KING: When does it begin?

BARRINO: In July, the middle of July.

DEGARMO: July 14th.

KING: All big American cities?

DEGARMO: Oh, yes. I mean, big and little. We're going everywhere.

KING: One-nighters?


BARRINO: Some cities two, depending.

KING: Buses or planes?


DEGARMO: Bus, mainly. But planes, I think, because we're going to Hawaii. So I don't think we could drive!

KING: You need a plane for that. Bus ain't going to work.


KING: Best of luck to both of you. It's been great meeting you.

BARRINO: Thank you so much...

DEGARMO: Thank you so much.

KING: Congressional.

BARRINO: ... for having us.

DEGARMO: It's been great meeting you. Thank you.

KING: They really chose wisely. The two of you are super.

DEGARMO: Thank you.

BARRINO: Thank you.

KING: Fantasia Barrino and Diana Degarmo, the winner and the runner-up of this year's "American Idol" on Fox.

When we come back, the tragedy of Princess Di, the investigation into it and the thoughts of those in and around her. Don't go away.


KING: There is now a further investigation into the death of Princess Diana, this one taking place in London. Joining us from London, Dr. Frederic Maillez. He was driving through Alma tunnel in Paris just moments after the car carrying Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed crashed into a pillar. That was August 31, 1997. He was the first doctor to tend to the mortally injured princess. Here in Los Angeles is Patrick Jephson. He was Princess Diana's private secretary and author of "Shadows of Princess (ph)." In Los Angeles, as well, is Darren McGrady. He was Princess Diana's personal chef from 1993 to '97. Prior to that, he was chef at Buckingham Palace. He's on the board of directors of the Pink Ribbons Crusade, a Texas-based charity devoted to carrying on Princess Diana's fight against breast cancer. And in London is Dickie Arbitor, the former spokesman for Buckingham Palace, former press secretary for the queen and for the prince and princess of Wales.

Controversial photos of the dying princess were taken moments after the crash, recently shown on CBS, apparently taken by paparazzi. At CNN, they have decided not to show them. Princess Di's brother, Charles Spencer, has said publicly he is sickened by the airing of the photos.

Dr. Maillez, what did you find when you arrived on the scene?

DR. FREDERIC MAILLEZ, FIRST TO TREAT DIANA AT CRASH SCENE: Well, I was inside the tunnel, and I saw some smoke. I talked to my friend, and I said, There must be a fire in there. And when I approached in the car, I saw there have been a very severe accident. So I stopped my car and I went to the wreckage, and I saw four people inside. Two were already apparently dead, and two were severely injured.

So I had the first medical assessment, so I went back to my car to phone the emergency services, said, There are four people, and I need at least two or three or four emergency ambulances and all the equipment for a car accident. And I went to my trunk to get the only equipment I had, a respiratory bag, and I went to the wreckage to give the first help to the victims. At that time...

KING: And did you -- did you know it was her when you saw her?

MAILLEZ: I didn't recognize her. Nobody told me she was in Paris. I didn't see her face in front at the beginning. And when I went inside the car, I didn't recognize her. And you know, I had four victims in my hands. I had other things to think about than trying to recognize who were my victims.

KING: Was it obvious that she was not going to make it?

MAILLEZ: That wasn't obvious. When I first arrived, her face was intact. She was -- she looked really peaceful. She looked -- she didn't have any injuries on her face, so -- and she wasn't bleeding from outside. Obviously, she had a very big shock. Obviously, the car accident was very severe. The speed was very high. But I wasn't aware of the internal injuries that make her die a little bit later.

KING: Did you do anything for her medically?

MAILLEZ: I helped her to breathe. I lifted up her head so she could breathe a little bit easier, and actually, after a few seconds of this treatment, she reacted a little bit better. So I think that helped her to wait until the emergency services arrived.

KING: Was she able to say anything?

MAILLEZ: She didn't say anything I could understand. She was just moving, and she didn't say anything, any word.

KING: Did the ambulance get there quickly?

MAILLEZ: You know, when you're the only doctor on that kind of scene and you're waiting for the emergency services, it looks like a very long time, but I understood it was no more than a few minutes they arrived on the scene.

KING: Weren't cars stopping to look?

MAILLEZ: When I arrived, when I first stopped my car, there was nobody before me on the scene. Little by little, some people arrived by foot. I guess that was the paparazzi. And little by little, some cars stopped. And when I left the scene, some cars were around the wreckage on the tunnel.

KING: Patrick, where were you when you heard of this?

PATRICK JEPHSON, WAS DIANA'S PRIVATE SECRETARY: I was at home in Devon, in England. I had left the princess more than a year previously, so it came as a great shock to me to find that I'd been called at 4:00 in the morning, and the news was actually broken to me by a friend in London, who had heard the news on the all-night radio.

KING: How did you hear about it, Darren?

DARREN MCGRADY, WAS DIANA'S PERSONAL CHEF 1993-'97: I heard about it -- obviously, it was overnight in England, and we woke to the news. I got up. I was the princess's chef, at the time, and we were expecting the princess back. The princess was flying in to Heathrow. William and Harry were coming back, as well, at the same time, and it was going to be a happy time because the house was always happy when William and Harry were back.

KING: She was going to fly back from Paris?

MCGRADY: Yes, she was flying back on a Sunday. She was collecting the boys. We'd got them a few days before they went back to school. I turned on the BBC news and saw them talking about the princess's death. I just couldn't believe it. And I thought, This is a joke. I called my wife to come downstairs and said, Look, this -- they're talking about the princess being dead. It's just unbelievable. And I had the food with me for the princess's meal that night, and I just said, I've got to go in to work. So I went in to the palace, and took the food with me. It just didn't sink in that the princess was gone.

KING: Dickie, where were you?

DICKIE ARBITER, WORKED AS PRESS SECRETARY TO PRINCESS DIANA: I was at home. I wasn't on duty that night, but I was actually told by CNN headquarters in Atlanta. They called me and said, Can you tell me about the crash? And I said, What crash? And they started to explain, and while they were explaining, I went into the living room to switch on the television to CNN, and everything was unfolding. And I sat transfixed until, a couple of hours later, I was told that she had died, by which time I was dressed and on my way in to the palace to start setting up the media arrangements for the funeral.

KING: Doctor, did you go to the hospital?

MAILLEZ: No, I didn't go to the hospital.

KING: When did you realize who your patient was?

MAILLEZ: When I woke up the next morning, my friend, Marc (ph), told me -- he turned on CNN, and he saw the car accident and he realized that the person I've been treated the last night was Princess Diana. So he told me, and it was a big shock for me to understand that...

KING: Wow.

MAILLEZ: ... she was Diana and that she died a few hours later.

KING: We'll take a break. When we come back, we'll ask the gentlemen what they think about releasing these photos and the whole investigation. We'll also include your phone calls. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you will ever be queen?

PRINCESS DIANA: No, I don't, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you think that?

PRINCESS DIANA: I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts, and people's hearts, but I don't see myself being queen of this country.


KING: Patrick Jephson, you said you woke up at 4:00 without anybody waking you up, right?

JEPHSON: Yeah, strange. I mean, the morning that the princess died, I woke up for no obvious reason at 4:00. I had to go downstairs, and that was when I realized that somebody had left a message on my phone machine. And that was how I discovered that initially she had been in an accident. And in some ways, it didn't surprise me. I heard that there had been a car accident. I didn't even know that she had been a passenger. My first assumption was that she had been driving, and I think quite a lot of her protection officers would agree that she wasn't always the world's best driver. Often, she was the world's fastest driver. And so in some respects, it didn't come as a complete surprise that it was in a car that she had been injured.

KING: Darren, what do you make of running these photographs?

MCGRADY: I think -- I don't think we need to be doing this, Larry. I don't. It seems to me that it's just for ratings, with the tapes and everything else that's been done. People are thinking about ratings far more than they are thinking about William and Harry.

KING: Apparently, they're horrible. Right? I haven't seen them. Have you seen them?

MCGRADY: No, I haven't. I don't want to see them. I want to remember the princess as she was.

KING: Dickey, what do you think of running them?

ARBITER: Well, I thought it was in pretty poor taste. I was actually in Wilkes-Barre, in Pennsylvania, at the time that the program was shown. So I saw it, and I was surprised that an American television station would run those pictures. But then you see, if you look at the program, and I'm sure you probably saw it, that they actually didn't come out with anything new in the program. They came out with what everybody else had come out with in the program, that there was no conspiracy, that it was a tragic accident.

And I think it was all about ratings. And I understand that they didn't get the list of viewers that they were hoping to get, and they were beaten to the post by another program or another network. But it was in pretty poor taste. In fact, it was in pretty poor taste; it was in bad taste.

KING: Dr. Maillez, did you have any suspicions at all about the accident itself?

MAILLEZ: You know, I arrived just after the accident. So I don't know what caused the accident.

I want to answer to the previous question, or so. The picture is -- obviously it's in bad taste. But remember what I said before. Her face was really nice. There was no injuries on her face. So it's the bad taste to see someone dying or in the accident, but it's not impressive. It's not awful to see this picture. I've seen this picture, and it's a bad copy, but her face was still very beautiful.

KING: What about the conditions of the other three people? Did you have any hopes for any of them?

MAILLEZ: I haven't seen a picture of these -- of other victims, but I remember it very well that it's not something you want to see.

KING: Now, who lived in that accident?

MAILLEZ: The bodyguard.


KING: Did you know, doctor, that he would live?

MAILLEZ: He was really injured on his face, but he was -- how can I say it? It was -- just his face was injured, and he was very reacting. He was shouting and he was conscious. So he had a better chance to live.

KING: What do you make of the investigation, Patrick?

JEPHSON: Well, there are two investigations.

KING: One in France, one in London. JEPHSON: The French investigation has only just completed, so that means the English investigation has only just started. They had to wait for the French investigation to run its course.

KING: All spurred on by Fayed, right?

JEPHSON: Well, I think that the time taken for the investigation was extended because there were so many legal hurdles that had to be overcome. Many of those the result of questions by Mr. Fayed, and therefore it's taken years for this to start in London.

KING: You were the executor of the estate?

JEPHSON: Initially, yes, until I resigned.

KING: Why?

JEPHSON: Why did I resign? It's a long story, but in a nutshell, although I had been with Diana for eight years and we'd worked very closely and very harmoniously for most of that time, by the end of 1995, beginning of '96, I felt that our close working relationship, which is essential between two people working as closely as we did, had broken down, and therefore, I thought it best to resign.

KING: And you were faxed a copy of the will, right, the next morning?

JEPHSON: Not me, no.

KING: But you saw the -- you knew the will.

JEPHSON: I mean, I had witnessed the will.

KING: Yeah. Dickey, what do you make of the investigation?

ARBITER: Well, as Patrick rightly says, the French investigation took a number of years, primarily because there were a number of issues being brought to the French courts by Mohammed Fayed, Dodi's father, and then of course it couldn't close until the French had drawn a line under the court case against the photographers. And that was completed last November, which meant that they could hand over all their findings to the British authorities, and the British authorities are going through it with a fine toothed comb. The corner has got to read the French report, which is something like 6,000 pages. So it's hardly bedtime reading.

And I think that by this time next year, we're going to get an answer, and it's going to be really no different to what the French came up with, that it was a tragic accident, an accident which should never have happened.

KING: Darren, you believe the same thing?

MCGRADY: Oh, I think so, too. I think it was a tragic accident, and I think that's what they'll find from this one. KING: Not caused by any plot, or...

MCGRADY: No, I don't think so. But there will always be the conspiracy theorists out there that say, you know, that this was not true, that it was someone trying to kill the princess.

KING: Dr. Maillez, were you questioned by the investigating body?

MAILLEZ: Yes, I was questioned three times by the French authorities, and they asked me a lot of questions about what I've done and what I've seen and what happened around the wreckage.

KING: Was there anything at all suspicious to you? Of course, you're not a forensic and you're not a criminologist, but was there anything at all suspicious to you?

MAILLEZ: Not really. You know, when I saw the front of the car, it was really severely damaged. So I thought it was -- this driver was going very, very fast. And when I realized that -- when I saw the victims, then that made sense, you know, the car accident was really a high speed one.

KING: Don't you understand, Patrick, though, the feelings of Mr. Fayed, his anger, his feelings about how the British may feel about him, his son dying?

JEPHSON: He's spoken quite a lot about his feelings, and I take them at face value.

KING: Can't you understand it?

JEPHSON: I haven't lost a son, so I couldn't begin to...

KING: That's what I mean.

JEPHSON: ... I wouldn't presume to understand what he feels.

KING: Is there anger at him in Britain?

JEPHSON: I think that he's a controversial figure, and this is just one element in that controversy.

KING: Has this made him -- have people angered at him over forcing these investigations?

JEPHSON: I imagine there's some understanding generally about why he would want to get to the bottom of things, not least because he's closely involved. I mean, they were under the protection of him. He was the owner of the car. And he was the owner of the hotel. And to a considerable degree, he was responsible for the arrangements made for Diana in Paris.

KING: How is he thought of, Dickey, in London?

ARBITER: He's -- sort of -- with sort of mixed feelings. Adding to what Patrick said a moment ago, no parent should have to bury a child, and one has to sympathize with him in that respect. But you know, he has been bringing all sorts of conspiracy theories, he's been bringing all sorts of legal questions within the French courts. He tried in the Scottish courts, and they wouldn't have it.

If you've got a conspiracy, to have a conspiracy, you've got to have a plan. To have a plan, you have got to have an itinerary. The decision to drop into Paris was taken at the last moment. The decision to go to Dodi's flat was taken at the last moment. There was no hotel car. They had to use a hired limo. There were no drivers; they had to use the security guard.

So there are all these things that sort of knock the whole idea of a conspiracy theory right out of the window.

But you have to sympathize with the man, because he has lost a son. But at the end of the day, he is partially responsible, because he threw the two of them together. And it was his hotel, his employees, and at the end of the day, although it was a hired limo, you've got to say it was his car as well.

KING: Darren?

MCGRADY: I agree with both. I think that Mr. Al Fayed has incredible guilt, and I think, if anything, he, in his mind, he stood to gain so much because, in his mind, Princess Diana was going to marry his son.

KING: We'll take a break and come back and include your phone calls for our panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did your relationship go beyond a close friendship?

PRINCESS DIANA: Yes, it did, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you unfaithful?

PRINCESS DIANA: Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down.


KING: We are spending our moments with Dr. Frederick Maillez, who was driving through (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tunnel and was the first doctor on the scene. In L.A. is Patrick Jephson who was Princess Diana's private secretary and Darren McGrady who was Princess Di's personal chef. He's writing a recipe book, right?

MCGRADY: Yes, I am, Larry.

KING: About?

MCGRADY: Just a mixture of recipes, favorites of the queen and the royal family and some of the light dishes that the princes had and a few stories as well.

KING: Dickie Arbiter is the former spokesman for Buckingham Palace. Let's go to some calls. Denver, Colorado, hello.

CALLER: I want to know how Diane's boys are doing. Nobody has talked about the boys and it was such a long time ago, they were young when she died. How are they doing today?

KING: Dickie?

DICKIE ARBITER, FMR. PRESS SECRETARY FOR PRINCESS DIANA: Pretty good. William is at university, he's got another year to do. I think we got to get rid of the idea that they're boys. They're young men now, and Harry is still doing his gap year, and probably this time next year, maybe a few months later, he'll go to Sandhurst to train to be an officer.

So they're doing pretty well. They're enjoying life. They've got an adoring father who's compensating for the loss of their mother and they've adjusted extremely well, given that they were young when their mother died. They were in the public spotlight. I don't know whether anybody remembers those pictures of them walking in Kensington Gardens amongst the flowers. There was a lot of weeping and wailing amongst the mourners but they did walk, members of the royal family do, and that is not where private grief on a public sleeve and they showed that they were pretty tough young men and they're doing good.

KING: Darren, what does the charity do?

MCGRADY: The charity is the Pink Ribbons Crusade, it's a date with Diana. I came to Texas and got involved with it. I'm now vice president. A lady called Suzanne King, down in Austin, she has a collection of over 2,000 pieces of British memorabilia including six of the princess's dresses and I've not seen these. The last time I saw these was when I was at Kensington Palace.

KING: What happens when you give to the charity?

MCGRADY: The charity is all in an exhibit and the exhibit tours the country and it raises money to promote breast cancer awareness in the area that it's in.

KING: Colonial Beach, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'd like to ask the doctor if he thinks if Diana had had a seat belt she would have survived?

KING: Dr. Maillez?

MAILLEZ: I don't think she had a seat belt on, because when I found her, she was on the floor of the car, and I didn't have to take the seat belt from her body. KING: The question was had she had a seat belt on, do you think it might have saved her life?

MAILLEZ: Oh, that's a difficult question, but probably she would have a little bit better chance, because the speed, that's the speed that killed her, and with the seat belt she would have been protected for sure.

KING: Texas, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I wonder if anyone on the panel believes that Peter Hunt (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the Jesuit general had anything to do with the assassination of Diana?

KING: Who is he, Patrick?

MCGRADY: I've never heard of him and I don't believe it was an assassination.

KING: Have you ever heard of the gentlemen he mentioned?


KING: Patrick, Dickie, have you ever heard of him?

ARBITER: That's a question completely off the wall. It wasn't an assassination. It was an accident. We've said that time and time again and we will say -- it's interesting, because people will continue coming up with conspiracy theories in much the same way as they're doing 41 years later over the assassination of John F. Kennedy and people will continue talking about it. It wasn't an assassination. It wasn't a conspiracy. It was an accident.

KING: Pittsburgh, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Anyone knows that the danger in major trauma is internal bleeding and that the only way that she could have been saved was with surgery. Why did it take to long to get her to the hospital?

KING: Doctor?

MAILLEZ: You know, there is a difference of systems, the medical systems between the States and France, and in France you have to understand that there are emergency doctors which are very large equipment inside the ambulance. So they tried. What I understood is that they tried to stabilize her before going to the hospital. It took a bit of time to go to the hospital, but they tried the best and they had to put IV infusion and all that and that took a little bit of time before leaving the scene to go to the hospital.

KING: Riverside, California, hello.

CALLER: Thank you, good evening, gentlemen.

KING: Hi. CALLER: My question is for Dr. Maillez. As you approached the vehicle and were assessing the victims, at that time, did the driver, Henri Paul, give the indication of intoxication?

MAILLEZ: You know, to tell you the truth, I don't remember very well seeing the driver, because his body was almost inside the engine. He was underneath the seat almost. So I couldn't see him. But he didn't scream. I didn't hear anything from him. So I assumed he was dead. And he was on the other side of the car, so I couldn't reach him. I didn't have the possibility to do an assessment on him.

KING: Were there any sounds made in the car at all, doctor?

MAILLEZ: Sounds?

KING: Yes.

MAILLEZ: There was the horn going on. The horn was going on when I arrived, and someone turned it off, turned the engine off a few seconds, a few minutes after.

KING: But none of the people made any sounds?

MAILLEZ: No, not -- well, the driver -- the bodyguard, sorry, was screaming, because he was in pain, but nobody else was talking or screaming.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Mrs. Parker-Bowles was a factor in the breakdown of your marriage?

PRINCESS DIANA: Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.


KING: Are you shocked she did that interview, Patrick?

JEPHSON: Yes, and then I had about a week's notice of it, and my main concern was that if she was going to do something like that, which was bound to have huge consequences, that she should be getting across the right message. I wanted her to come across as somebody strong and ready to be reconciled with the royal family.

KING: Didn't work?

JEPHSON: It didn't. I was sad to see that she chose instead to be a victim, which she wasn't.

KING: She had boyfriends, she had lovers. Dickie, was she in love with Dodi Fayed?

ARBITER: No, no, it was a sort of a summer romance. I mean, she had been on the yacht with the -- William and Harry a few weeks beforehand, and then they went off to Balmorel with their father, to be with their grandmother, and all of a sudden, she was alone in London at a loose end, and this invitation came. And quite frankly, who wouldn't choose to go on a yacht in the Mediterranean? And off she went. She had been there with him a few weeks beforehand. So she was going to the familiar.

So it was -- it was a summer break, but there was no romance there. And contrary to what Dodi's father has said, that they were going to get married, marriage was a long way off. That lady wasn't going to get married for quite some time, because she wasn't going to foist a stepfather on her sons.

KING: She was a CNN viewer, was she not, gentlemen? Right?

JEPHSON: Yes, she did. She used to have CNN on quite regularly.

KING: Winnipeg, Manitoba, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. This question is directed to anybody on the panel, and I am wondering, why does the panel seem so absolutely adamant that there is no possibility of a conspiracy?

KING: Darren?

MCGRADY: I'm not adamant. That's just my opinion. I just think that there are hundreds of ways to have gotten rid of the princess. The princess was on her own, she was insecure in that sense. She didn't have a protection officer with her anymore. And so many, many times she would come in, she would go running in the park and come in and say, you know, "I could have been shot in the park today," or she got -- I remember when she got a new BMW, and she was one of the first people in the U.K. to actually have the new BMW 5 Series, and she thought that someone had tampered with the brakes then, when in fact the brakes were just running in. The princess was a fast driver. And I nearly -- well, in fact, I did nearly almost have a head-on collision with her. I was coming into one morning as she was going out to the gym. And...

KING: Was she paranoid?

MCGRADY: Yes, in a sense, she was. She was always -- I mean, she was into so many different things, with the land mines and all of those things. She did think that, you know, there was a chance that someone didn't want her around, yes, but I still think it was an accident.

KING: Thank you all for participating. The investigation goes on. Dr. Maillez, thank you so much for your cooperation tonight. And Patrick Jephson and Darren McGrady, thanks for coming over. And of course, to Dickey Arbiter, our old friend in London, thank you as well. Before we go, the National World War II Memorial will be dedicated in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. Every generation owes the Greatest Generation the most profound debt of thanks for their courage and sacrifice, and we salute them all, including our frequent guest and good friend, former Senator Bob Dole, chairman of the Memorial Fundraising Committee. Congratulations, Bob, because you did it. CNN's coverage of the dedication starts at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time Saturday. It's going to be one heck of a day.

I'll be back in a minute to tell you about the weekend. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, we'll repeat our interview with Dr. Phil. And Sunday night, Gloria Estefan will join us. And Monday night, Memorial Day night, Johnny Cash remembered.

As the long Memorial Day weekend is about to begin, what a great way to begin it, by turning it over to my man, Aaron Brown. We love you, Aaron.


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