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Diana Paparazzo Fights Again at ‘The Crown’: “Absurd and Fully Invented’

Mario Brenna, the Italian photographer who made a small fortune after snapping images of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed embracing on a yacht, says the ultimate season of The Crown will get all of it incorrect. In what Brenna says is his first English language interview, the paparazzo tells the New York Instances by way of e-mail that The Crown‘s depiction of how he captured Diana and Dodi is “absurd and utterly invented.” 

Episode two of The Crown season six, “Two Pictures,” follows the lengths Brenna (performed by Enzo Cilenti) went to seize the cash shot of Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and Dodi (Khallid Abdullah) yachting within the Mediterranean in the summertime of 1997. As The Crown depicts it, Dodi’s father, Mohammed al-Fayed (Salim Daw), gave Brenna the tip that Princess Diana was on his yacht, the Jonikal, within the hopes that Brenna’s images of the couple would push their nascent relationship into the general public eye. In line with The Crown‘s head researcher Annie Sulzberger—sister to Instances writer A.G. Sulzberger—“there are a number of theories about how Brenna managed to search out the Jonikal moored someplace within the Mediterranean Sea,” and the Netflix collection determined that the “most credible” rationalization was that certainly one of al-Fayed’s staff leaked the boat’s location to Brenna.

However in keeping with Brenna, The Crown‘s model of occasions is totally false. Brenna claims that he spent each summer time in Sardinia, the place the Jonikal was moored, and that he merely got here throughout Diana and Dodi in “an incredible stroke of luck.” Per his account, Brenna approached the Jonikal on August 1st, 1997, pondering that Diana was an acquaintance of his earlier than realizing that she was, in actual fact, the folks’s princess.

Over the subsequent few days, Brenna says, he labored tirelessly to take what he referred to as the “historic photograph,” ultimately scaling a cliff about 400 meters from the yacht to get the very best angle. From there, he was in a position to seize Princess Diana and Dodi in a non-public second.

With the assistance of his agent on the time, Brenna would promote these images for about £1.7 million whole, or $2.1 million {dollars}. On the time, Brenna was “not swimming in wealth” as a result of a latest divorce, he says, and the images of Diana and Dodi “solved my private and household issues.” 

The images considerably modified Diana and Dodi’s lives as effectively. After Brenna’s images had been plastered on the entrance web page of The Every day Mirror, as many as 2000 photographers flooded Sardinia within the hopes of capturing comparable pictures. Half certainly one of The Crown‘s remaining season captures the media frenzy surrounding Diana and Dodi, which in the end contributed to the deadly automotive crash that killed them each on August 31, 1997. 

Brenna additionally takes situation with The Crown‘s depiction of his character. The episode reveals Cilenti’s Brenna saying that to be a profitable paparazzo, one has to behave like “hunters … killers.” 

“I don’t determine with the time period ‘killer,’” Brenna instructed the Instances. He additionally mentioned that like Prince Harry, he was not contacted by anybody concerned in The Crown nor consulted about his experiences, regardless of taking part in a pivotal function on this season.

Brenna has some regrets about his unwitting function in Diana and Dodi’s destiny, telling the Instances that the night time the pair died, he “couldn’t consider it” and wept. The thought that his images “may have contributed to fueling the hunt for Diana and Dodi clearly saddens me,” he writes. However, he pledged “to not converse or disclose something in regards to the incident till William and Harry reached maturity.” Finally, he stands by the images and his proper to take them as a member of the free press. “There may be nonetheless the best to report,” he says. “If it hadn’t been me, another person would definitely have captured these photos.”

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