‘The Crown’ under fire for villainous portrayal of Mohamed Al-Fayed: ‘Bulls—t’

‘The Crown’ under fire for villainous portrayal of Mohamed Al-Fayed: ‘Bulls—t’



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The first part of “The Crown’s” highly-anticipated final season dropped on Netflix this week, with viewers tuning in to see how the series would portray the days before Princess Diana’s tragic death.

The beloved royal died alongside her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, in a car crash on Aug. 31 1997, just weeks after they began a whirlwind love affair.

“The Crown” shows Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (played by Palestinian actor Salim Daw) as having a hand in manufacturing their relationship in an effort to secure himself British citizenship.

However, experts are unimpressed by the show’s producers painting the former Harrod’s owner as a villain.

Royal expert Robert Jobson told Newsweek recently that “it’s disrespectful and it’s easy to attack the dead.”

Mohamed died on Aug. 30 this year at the age of 94 — almost 26 years to the day that Diana and Dodi perished.

When asked about claims that Mohamed may have manufactured his son’s romance with the princess, Jobson said: “I don’t think it’s true but I think Mohamed would have tried to manipulate the situation because he was a canny old f–ker.”

“He wouldn’t have pushed [Diana] to do it but he would have seen the opportunities involved,” he added.

But Jobson insists that Mohamed was not motivated in any way by trying to attain a UK passport, calling that plot line “bullsh-t.”

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The Egyptian billionaire was rejected twice for British citizenship throughout his lifetime.

The real life Muhamed Al-Fayed died in August 2023 at the age of 94.
AFP via Getty Images
Salim Daw as Mohamed Al-Fayed in “The Crown.”
Justin Downing/Netflix

“The Crown” shows Mohamed feeling disappointed by Dodi, who in turn appears as someone struggling to get out from under his stern father’s thumb.

But Jobson says that portrayal is not accurate.

“Mohamed was a very different person in public compared to how he was in private,” he said. “He was very funny in private amongst people who he trusted.”

Meanwhile, royal correspondent Charles Rae told Newsweek that he takes issue with a plot line from “The Crown” in which Muhamed encourages the paparazzi to spy on Dodi and Diana while they were vacationing in Europe.

Episode two of the royal drama’s sixth season shows Mohamed calling up photographer Mario Brenna to take snaps of Dodi (Khalid Abdalla) and Diana {Elizabeth Debicki) kissing on the Fayed’s yacht, the Jonikal.

Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed take a trip to thee French Riviera in August 1997.
AP

“Well, I don’t know if it was Mohamed who called the photographer,” Rae said, saying “The Crown” took creative liberties.

He claims it could have been Diana who tipped off the snapper.

“She could have done it because she would have wanted to show the royal family she was having a good time and enjoying herself,” Rae stated.

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And, according to The New York Times , Brenna himself has denied being contacted by Muhamed.

Elizabeth Debicki and Khalid Abdalla in the new season of “The Crown.”
Daniel Escale/Netflix

The paparazzo calls the claim “absurd and completely invente,” saying he simply discovered Muhamed’s vessel as a “great stroke of luck.”

The photos he took of Diana and Dodi on board the vessel were subsequently sold to a British tabloid for a huge sum of money prompting paparazzi to chase the couple across Europe.

The pair were killed after being chased by snappers through a Parisian tunnel on Aug. 31 1997.



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