It was set to reveal an intriguing new insight into the tragic romance between Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed on the 20th anniversary of their deaths.
A new book, Diana And Dodi: The Truth, promised explosive new revelations about the fateful night in August 1997, when the pair died in a car accident in Paris, as well as fuel rumours of a cover-up.
But the book by Michael Cole, who works for Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed, is now at the centre of its own mystery after Mr Al Fayed dramatically intervened to prevent its publication.
The book has been pulled and its potentially scandalous contents, based on years of painstaking research and first-hand insight by Mr Cole, may never be known.
A new book, Diana And Dodi: The Truth, promised explosive new revelations about the fateful night in August 1997, when the pair died in a car accident in Paris, as well as fuel rumours of a cover-up
Publisher Biteback, owned by former Tory MP Iain Dale, is said to be furious and has complained about receiving legal letters from Mr Al Fayed’s solicitors.
The row is all the more fascinating because Mr Cole, a former BBC correspondent, was director of public affairs for Harrods and still works as Mr Al Fayed’s spokesman. He once declared that he loved the tycoon ‘as a father’.
The reasons for the cancellation of the book are unknown.
Mohamed Al Fayed, far left with author Michael Cole, intervened to stop the publication of Mr Cole's book, inset, about his son Dodi and Princess Diana
It is understood that Mr Al Fayed had at one stage been ‘aware and supportive’ of the book, and had even supplied photographs from his private collection.
The former Harrods boss is also said to have seen a manuscript and expressed an interest in ordering copies for his family.
But Biteback confirmed that Mr Al Fayed had experienced ‘an abrupt change of mind’ and had asked Mr Cole not to go ahead with its publication.
The publisher also said that Mr Al Fayed had subsequently sent it a ‘needless and unjustified’ legal letter via his solicitors, Lewis Silkin, even though Mr