The British-Pakistani heart surgeon once described as Princess Diana’s “greatest love” has slammed a new movie about their romance, saying he will never watch it.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday (MoS), Dr Hasnat Khan described the big budget film as “completely wrong” and denied claims that he had given his blessing to the film’s producers.
Dr Khan, 54, had a two-year affair with the Princess in the mid-1990’s before the couple parted ways with Dr Khan later claiming that he was put off the idea of marrying Diana because of the inevitable media frenzy their union would cause.
The film, titled “Diana”, stars Naomi Watts as the Princess and British-Indian ‘Lost’ star Naveen Andrews as Dr Khan, and is based on Kate Snell’s 2001 book ‘Diana: Her Last Love’ which claims to chart the couple’s romance.
Dr Khan told the MoS that he was convinced the movie would misrepresent his relationship with the Princess, after seeing an image still of them meeting for the first time at the Brompton Hospital in London where he was working at the time.
‘You could tell from those pictures that it is all just presumed about how we would behave with each other, and they have got it completely wrong.
‘There wasn’t any hierarchy in our relationship. She wasn’t a Princess and I wasn’t a doctor.
‘We were friends, and normal people stand like friends with each other. That one still picture told me a lot about how they will portray things in the film and I can see [it] is wrong.’
Clearly angered by the idea of the film, the Lahore-born surgeon said he would not be taking in a screening.
‘A friend asked me the other day if I would sneak into a cinema to see the film. But there is no way I will watch it,’ he said.
There’s no way I am going to go anywhere near it, not now or ever.
Most of it is going to be based on gossip, and if I watched it I would be sitting there saying, “That’s wrong, that’s wrong, that’s not right” every second. I couldn’t put myself through that. It would be absolutely terrible.’
Dr Khan also rubbished claims by the film’s producer Robert Bernstein that the film had the “tacit acceptance” of the surgeon and his family.
‘It is a complete lie.
I haven’t spoken to anyone involved in the movie. I have never given any approval for it. I have never met or talked or written to Bernstein and I have never given any approval in a direct or indirect manner.’
As for author Snell, Dr Khan said he had rebuffed her attempts to interview him about his relationship with the Princess.
‘I only had one meeting with Kate Snell. That was it,’ he said.
‘It must have been towards the end of the 1990s. This lady who I didn’t know came to Brompton Hospital and I had coffee with her in the coffee shop.
‘She said she was planning to write a book, and I told her I had nothing to say to her at all.
‘Then she said to me, “Can I talk to your relatives and friends?”
‘I said if you are asking for my permission, I will not say go and speak to them, but I remember distinctly saying, “If you want to and if they agree, I can’t do anything about it”. I said, “I will not give you their addresses and phone numbers, but if you get in touch with them, I can’t stop you seeing them. It is up to them.” That is how I left it.
‘I have never read the book to this day. I really don’t know how she got her information because even my very close friends didn’t know what was going on between me and the Princess.’
Dr Khan, who is a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Basildon University Hospital, Essex, stopped buying newspapers shortly after the Princess’s death, saying he was upset by the constant untruths and speculation.
The surgeon said of Princess Diana’s early death: ‘There are a hundred could-have-beens.
‘She (Diana) could be living very happily and married and having more kids, with me or with someone else. It could have led in that direction. I try not to think about these things. I can’t change anything now.’
Every year on the anniversary of the Princess’s death, Dr Khan goes away, often to Lahore where the late Princess visited during their courtship in 1996.
Dr Khan said he intends to travel to Pakistan during the film’s release in September to concentrate on fundraising for a charity heart hospital he will set up in the Punjab, realising part of a dream he once shared with Princess Diana.