- A French jeweler has released secret video footage which
he claims proves Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were engaged to be married
when they died.
- Alberto Repossi says the video reveals that at 5.30pm
on August 30, 1997-just hours before Diana and her lover were killed in
a car smash -Dodi bought a £60,000 diamond engagement ring for the
- He claims the video proves Princess Diana had said yes
to the playboy son of Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed, even though the marriage
would have appalled the Queen and the British establishment.
- Mr Al Fayed insists the ring, which he now keeps in a
safe, was bought by his son as an engagement ring for Diana, although Trevor
Rees-Jones, the bodyguard who survived the crash, has branded the story
- The time-coded video shows Dodi in Mr Repossi's exclusive
shop in Place Vendome, Paris. Dodi admires the ring for several minutes
then heads for the door, leaving Claude Roulet, the deputy managing director
of his father's Ritz hotel, to sign the paperwork and take possession of
- The security video also shows Mr Repossi's niece Alice
Valentin, his wife Gio, two of the shop managers, Emanuele Gobbo and Vito
Giove, and the shop's doorman Masud Javved were present.
- An order for the engagement ring signed by Claude Roulet
has been given to the News of the World and Mr Repossi has signed an affidavit
before a lawyer swearing the ring he sold Dodi was an engagement ring.
- THE order form bears the order number 97/326 and the
ring's description in French, which translates as 'Engagement ring with
brilliant, emerald cut diamonds around a triangular pattern'.
- Mr Repossi said: "The docket speaks for itself.
It says it is an engagement ring."
- He claims the princess and Dodi first spotted the ring
in the window of his Monte Carlo shop on August 23 while they were sailing
in the south of France on the £20 million yacht Jonikal, owned by
- "It was an engagement ring. Diana chose it herself
and Dodi picked it up from my shop in Paris the night before they died.
- "I met them both in St Tropez and Diana picked the
ring herself," said Mr Repossi. Sitting in the study of his luxury
villa overlooking Monte Carlo, 48-year-old Mr Repossi revealed: "The
first call I took about the ring came from a director of the Ritz Hotel
in Paris earlier in August, 1997.
- "He said Dodi Fayed and Diana had seen a ring in
my shop in Monte Carlo and wanted to examine it more closely in private.
- "Some days later I met both Dodi and Princess Diana
in St Tropez to show them the ring. It was from my Dis Moi Oui, or Say
Yes, collection. It was an engagement ring."
- Repossi described the princess as animated and excited
about the prospect of buying the ring.
- "She seemed very happy indeed and Dodi very proud.
I wanted to personally be in charge of this project and I went to Paris
at the end of August.
- "On August 30, 1997, I was pleased to contribute
to the happiness of this legendary couple and Mr Dodi Al Fayed told me
that the princess was particularly attracted by my creations," said
- In his affidavit Mr Repossi says of Dodi's visit to his
Paris shop: "I certify that Mr Dodi Al Fayed was in particularly good
spirits and that he confidentially informed me of the importance of this
gift, which was to be given to Princess Diana to mark a particularly important
moment in their lives."
- HE added: "In order to avoid any distortion of the
facts, I am enclosing herewith a copy of my consignment book, which clearly
indicates that the jewel in question was, at this early date, annotated
by me as being an engagement ring."
- The docket also gives details of a lady's dress ring
which was returned on September 3, three days after the couple were killed.
Both rings were taken on approval and payment was to be settled later.
But in the early hours of August 31 drunken chauffeur Henri Paul crashed
in the Alma tunnel in Paris, killing the couple and himself.
- After the crash, uncertain of the whereabouts of the
ring, Mr Repossi launched an insurance claim. But the bill was later paid
by Mohamed Al Fayed.
- Mr Repossi said he was forced to release the video after
the Harrods boss threatened to take legal action to make him hand over
- Mr Al Fayed believes the tapes offer proof that the couple
wanted to wed, adding weight to his theory that they were murdered by the
British establishment who were outraged at the prospect of the mother of
the future king being married to Dodi.
- The jeweller received a letter from Jeffrey Byrne, Harrods
director of legal affairs, threatening to seek a court order which would
'compel' him to hand over the tapes.
- The threat is an idle one. Repossi owns the copyright
as the video cameras are his and the shots were taken on his premises.
- But the threat was sufficient for him to break silence.
- He said: "It is very important to Mr Al Fayed to
prove that his son bought this ring and I am now facing legal action from
him unless I help him in this small way.
- "It is a very difficult position to be in but my
lawyers have advised me that releasing the video is a sensible way of resolving
- MR Repossi admitted knowing Mr Al Fayed quite well, but
claimed he was only revealing details of the ring reluctantly.
- "I often stay at the Paris Ritz and I have known
Mr Fayed for years," he said.
- "I am only doing this because I am being threatened
with legal action."
- Mr Repossi claims he cannot remember where exactly the
meeting with Diana and Dodi in St Tropez took place.
- When pressed that it would be reasonable to expect him
to remember where he took the most important order of his career, he replied:
"It may have been a kind of a restaurant or a kind of a hotel. My
lawyer has told me only to comment on things which I can prove."
- Also, when asked to identify which finger he had measured
for the ring, he replied: "I cannot remember."
- We visited Mr Repossi twice in Monte Carlo to press him
on these facts, but his answers were always vague. He said his client base
was drawn from the rich and famous who demanded discretion and he could
not be seen to divulge too much.
- He added: "I was thrilled to get the order for the
engagement ring and very proud. I have never spoken before about this because
my business is based on trust.
- "This business has been built up over three generations
and I do not wish to harm it in any way.
- "I was proud to have supplied this engagement ring.
But on a personal note, I was devastated by the couple's deaths."
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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