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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Paul Burrell Speaks in New York

Aired November 11, 2002 - 11:48   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN,, CNN ANCHOR; We go live now to New York, Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL BURRELL, PRINCESS DIANA'S FORMER BUTLER: ... in New York, my favorite city. America was a special place for the princess and remains a special place for me.

When I made my decision to tell my story to the "London Daily Mirror," I realized that there would be a backlash from other media organizations. I just never expected it to be so vicious and so personal.

The newspapers, leading the campaign of vilification against me, are the very same people who pretended to be my friends; for years, had offered me vast sums of money to tell my story. I turned them down. So they've tried to assassinate my character.

I was wrongly accused of stealing items belonging to the Princess of Wales, to Prince Charles and Prince William, as you all know. My name was cleared, bringing to an end 21 months of hell for me. and more importantly, for my family, my wife, Maria, and my sons, Alexander and Nicholas (ph).

I'm now here in America to tell my side of the story, and the truth about the consequences of a case which never should have been brought in the first place. This whole saga could have been avoided if only the police in the United Kingdom and the prosecution lawyers had listened to the facts from the very beginning.

I always knew the potential for damage with such a high profile case could bring. It was they, not me or my family, who first mentioned in court a sensitive tape about the rape in a royal palace. Letters to the princess from members of the royal family were also mentioned in court. The clear implication was in court that these items were in my possession. They never have been. Before all this, we were a happy normal family just getting on with our lives. We've been to hell and back. And no one, even to this day, has said sorry, nor do we say sorry to anyone for setting the record straight. I have no regrets for a single word I've said, because I have told the truth, and will defend my reputation.

I've told my side of the story and always had in mind my loyalty and respect for her majesty the queen, for the prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry, and for my boss, Diana, princess of Wales. "The daily Mirror" would only address our debts and save our home from being repossessed.

The financial ruination we have faced is another consequence which no one else has considered. Telling my story was never about money; it was only ever about the truth and justice, and telling it honestly and properly. I intended to do the same here in America, so that the American people will also know the truth. That's what all this is about, the truth.

Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: This is a videotape that we received, was coming in from New York. This is a statement that Paul Burrell made just a little bit ago. Is there a problem? That Paul Burrell made a little bit ago, the former butler for Princess Diana. Of course, a huge scandal that continues to evolve in Britain. He is here in the U.S. to tell his own story and deny many accusations that have been made against him, and we have our Nic Robertson on the scene, and more on that a little bit later.

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