The world may never know the real Princess Diana. Nearly 16 years after her death at age 36 in a car crash in Paris, royal watchers all over the globe are still fascinated by the late "People's Princess." Many hope to get the inside story on her life via a new biopic, Diana, starring Naomi Watts and Naveen Andrews -- but Diana's ex-lover Hasnat Khan (whom Andrews plays in the film) says the movie got it all wrong.
Speaking with the U.K.'s Mail on Sunday about the big-budget flick, Khan denied claims that he had given the film his approval (tacit or otherwise). He also said that the movie's portrayal of his two-year romance with the Princess of Wales was inaccurate and based on hearsay.
"I don't see this movie doing well at all. It is based on gossip and Diana's friends talking about a relationship that they didn't know much about, and some of my relatives who didn't know much about it either," he told the Daily Mail. "It is all based on hypotheses and gossip."
Khan, who has not seen the biopic, added that he could tell all he needed to know about it from a single still image showing Andrews and Watts in character at the hospital. "You could tell from that picture that it is all just presumed about how we would behave with each other, and they have got it completely wrong," he explained.
Asked whether he planned to watch the movie in theaters, the 54-year-old heart surgeon balked. "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," Khan, nicknamed "Mr. Wonderful" by Princess Diana, told the Mail. "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," he continued. "I couldn't put myself through that. It would be absolutely terrible."
Diana, set to be released in September of this year, centers around Khan's romance with the Princess, which was also the focus of a recent Vanity Fair cover story about Prince William and Prince Harry's late mother. According to VF, Khan was the true love of Diana's life, even though she was linked to Dodi Fayed at the time of her death.
"Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan," Jemima Khan, the former wife of Hasnat's distant cousin Imran Khan, told contributing editor Sarah Ellison. "And that's one of the reasons we became friends."
The relationship ended, Jemima said, because Khan was reluctant to commit. "Hasnat was a decent, intensely private man from a traditional, conservative Pakistani family, and he was worried about how it would work," Jemima explained. "And he hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life."
As a result, Diana sought comfort with Fayed. He was killed along with the Princess in the car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.