Princess Di’s Ex-Bodyguard Disputes Claim
LONDON (AP) _ A former bodyguard of Princess Diana on Tuesday dismissed her claim that one of her lovers was ``bumped off.″
Ken Wharfe said he believed there was no truth in Diana’s suggestion that Barry Mannakee, a policeman assigned to protect her, was killed after their affair was discovered.
``Of course I don’t think he was killed, there was no reason for him to be killed,″ Wharfe told ITV television.
``He died tragically in a road traffic accident.″
Wharfe wrote a book about his years guarding the princess and her sons entitled ``Diana: Closely Guarded Secret.″
``Diana sadly was prone to listen to all the sycophantics (sic) that existed and juggle with other methods like tarot cards,″ he told ITV.
Diana made the claim about Mannakee in a tape broadcast Monday in the United States. The recording was made in 1992 by Peter Settelen, who worked with the princess to improve her public speaking.
``It was all found out and he was chucked out. And then he was killed,″ Diana says on the tape, broadcast by the NBC network.
``And I think he was bumped off. But, um, there we are. ... We’ll never know. He was greatest fella I’ve ever had.″
Mannakee died in a motorcycle accident in 1987, after being transferred from his post as Diana’s guard.
Reports that Diana had an affair with Mannakee surfaced in Britain in 1998.
Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.