New details have emerged about a secret romance friends say the late Princess Diana had after ending it with Prince Charles but before dating Dodi Al Fayed.
And it wasn't just any relationship. The man involved was supposedly Diana's "true love," according to Vanity Fair, which has a cover story on Diana and her alleged mystery man out this month.
Diana's lover was Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, friends of the late royal told VF. Diana and Hasnat reportedly dated between 1995 and 1997, before she was introduced to Fayed. Diana died Aug. 31, 1997.
Jemima Khan, the ex-wife of Hasnat's distant cousin Imran Khan and a dear friend of Diana, revealed the details to the magazine. "Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan, and that's one of the reasons why we became friends," Jemima said.
Diana reportedly visited Jemima twice in Pakistan "to help fundraise for Imran's hospital, but both times she also went to meet his family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage to Hasnat. She wanted to know how hard it had been for me to adapt to life in Pakistan."
Apparently Diana talked about kids with Hasnat too, reportedly telling a couple of friends that she wanted a little girl with him.
Richard Kay, a Daily Mail journalist and close friend of Diana, told Vanity Fair that Diana had searched for someone to secretly marry her and Hasnat, but that Hasnat was horrified by the idea. In an official interview with police after Diana's death, Hasnat said the only way he and Diana could have a shot at a normal life was if they lived in Pakistan, where they could avoid the media.
Friends of Diana told Vanity Fair the people's princess ended her relationship with Hasnat because he refused to marry her and make their relationship public. At the same time, Diana met Dodi. To this day, Rosa Monckton, a close friend of Diana, believes Diana dated Dodi to make Hasnat jealous.
The timing of this piece comes just months before the premiere of the film "Diana," starring Naomi Watts. And, well, starring this intimate relationship. Hasnat has not cooperated with filmmakers, the magazine said.
About taking on such a charged role, Watts told USA Today, "Now it's the scary time. Everyone wants you to explain it. You're almost forced into the position of defending it."
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