Mohamed Al Fayed: “Phoney Pharaoh” and his fluctuated statements to the media

Mohamed Al Fayed, also known as the “phoney pharaoh,” fluctuated in his statements to the media.

As a result, I wasn’t shocked when his press secretary called to cancel our scheduled interview shortly after he had agreed to do it for this publication in 2009.

But he advised that I take a taxi to Al Fayed’s flat in Park Lane and ask him to reconsider.

I hesitated just like the proverbial cat.Al Fayed, the father of Dodi and the owner of Harrods, was known for being unsavoury around women.

I hoped that I wouldn’t have to perform any kind of amorous effort to change his viewpoint.

But because Dodi and Princess Diana had been assassinated more than ten years prior, I was interested to hear what new insights Al Fayed, who had a remarkable ability to cloak unpleasant truths in illusion, could have to offer.

His motivation came from his hate of the Establishment, whose members, in his opinion, had long scoffed at him, refused him a British passport, and later killed his kid.

Because they were mostly charlatans and cowards who surrounded him in a tight herd, none of his followers ever questioned him.

Al Fayed, who passed away last month at age 94, was a tyrant who did not mind using threats.

The day that followed that day was among the most unsettling of my life.

It was easy enough to start.

I rang the doorbell of Al Fayed’s flat after the doorman opened the street entry.

I had never met him before, so I didn’t anticipate him showing up at the door, but he did.

He smelt costly unguent and was dressed in a dressing gown over a grey suit.

He had already decided to go to the interview, and I was unable to convince him otherwise.

Like the horse trader at heart he was, he was very open about his intentions.

Why don’t we go out to a special meal tonight?My anxiety reached nuclear levels.

I told him I didn’t want to eat with him.

He persisted, “How about tomorrow night?””No, not at all.”

Neither for the remainder of the week.

His brows arched upward like an eagle’s wings.

No, he replied.

I’ll then demonstrate something to you. something that not many have witnessed.

Until he made it plain that he wanted guidance and felt I was a sensible woman, this did not make me feel any better.

He wanted to show me Dodi’s flat, which was right next door.

I questioned his request that I visit what appeared to be an empty flat.

Al Fayed sobbed extremely easily, and as soon as his eyes started to tear up, I was overcome with compassion for him.

Along with his beloved son, Dodi’s death also ended his chances of joining the Establishment, which he detested but had long desired to be a part of and had spent most of his life trying in vain to do so.

He removed his robe, and I saw that he was sporting an incredibly wide and thick silver tie.

It seems ludicrous on a man his size.

We crossed the hall to get to Dodi’s flat.

I still have a hard time believing what I saw today.

The resentful Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations spends the rest of her days dressed in the leftovers from her bridal gown, retaining the memory of her betrayal in her horrifying surroundings.

Even worse had been done by Al Fayed.

He had created a living, organic memorial for his deceased kid.

He seemed to be waiting for Dodi to enter the room at any moment to pick up the pieces of his life.

It was a rejection of death and the Paris tragedy.

Al Fayed was experiencing the misery of a man who had invented a fantasy world as a result of being placed in an unpleasant situation.

There were pictures in the hallway honouring the 1981 movie Chariots Of Fire.

Al Fayed contributed to the project’s funding so that Dodi, who had any obvious aptitude, could fulfil his ambition of becoming a successful film producer.

Executive producer is the title granted to Dodi.

I quietly listened as Al Fayed described an underappreciated genius who had the traits of both Jesus Christ and Cary Grant combined.

The real producer, David Puttnam, had kicked Dodi off the set when he tried to give the cast cocaine.

It was unpleasant.

Al Fayed’s fish eyes darted back and forth, scanning my face for even the tiniest hint of disapproval.

Al Fayed was about to collapse.

When I saw Dodi’s bedroom, I realised I was speaking with a man who had gone insane.

It had a muted colour scheme and a thick carpet covering the floor.

I was troubled by the impression that it was still waiting for its previous tenant.

For a man who had been deceased for more than ten years, a maid was making the bed and filling the pillows.

It had the atmosphere of a crypt thanks to the quantity of green leafy jardinieres.

In what appeared to be an ashtray, I saw a withered object.

It was just halfway through a cigar, awaiting completion by its owner.

Al Fayed was unable to avoid lying any more than the rest of us are unable to avoid blinking, but up until that point, I was unaware of just how much he lied to himself.

Princess Diana was shown in the worst chocolate box artwork, perhaps ordered by Al Fayed himself, and she was everywhere.

In addition to being enormous, they were also fantasy.

The man’s expectations for his son marrying a princess were not dashed by reality.

He had married them in death.

Diana appears in two different paintings, one with her arms weirdly stretched around Dodi’s waist and the other in what appeared to be a wedding gown.

Al Fayed had remained silent throughout.

He then made a snake-like turn towards me.

If you mention this to anyone, He let the ellipsis dangle like a rope in the air.

I knew that Al Fayed was frequently said to as violent.

The successive Home Secretaries who blocked his attempts to get a British passport must have had a solid reason for doing so.

I kept my mouth shut, which seemed to satisfy him.The tour went on.

The atmosphere was pleasant and unsettling.

It made me think of a movie set that the cast and crew had long since abandoned.

A platter of rotting Charbonnel et Walker chocolates was on a table.

They had tooth impressions, as though Dodi had used them before returning them to the box.

I felt sick at the sight.

Domestic helpers were scurrying around the entire time, taking care of this shrine that a contemporary Ozymandias had built.

Al Fayed was in tears.

I thought I had no business being there.

He questioned, “What shall I do with it?” I remained silent.

In this odd monument to a son, the hideous emptiness of Dodi’s life—the drugs, the failed relationships with models that his father disapproved of, and the desperate affair with Diana that none of her friends imagined would survive longer than a summer—were denied and disregarded.

Even though it was bent, it was still in some ways a greater tribute to love than the Taj Mahal.

Dodi had developed into an entrepreneur in these spaces, a hero among men, and a princess’ one and only love.

Everything was gibberish.

Nobody knew why Diana had even given Dodi a passing glance.

Knowing the Princess, I was perplexed by it.

Hasnat Khan, a cardiac surgeon, had been her love, but their relationship ended, and I imagine it damaged her vanity.

Weeks before Diana and Dodi’s deaths in 1997, Al Fayed and Raine Spencer, Diana’s stepmother, planned a vacation in the South of France where they grew close.

Diana wasn’t pregnant with Dodi’s child and she wasn’t in love with him.

I dreaded seeing a painting of her holding a child, but even for Al Fayed, that was too much.

When I glanced around, I saw that he was gone.

In this misery, I was by myself.

On one of the soft furnishings, a silk cravat was neatly folded.

It was one I had seen Dodi wearing in a picture, I realised.

I reached out to touch it, almost expecting it to fall apart.

There was unclean air throughout the entire area, which made it impossible for life to exist.

I gave the 7-foot-tall Diana in her bridal dress one last glance before exiting.

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