Copyright © Erkin Guney 2008-
By Nigel Rosser
From the Evening Standard, 11 February 1998
THE PRESENCE of an Arab middleman “advising” the woman at the centre of a row over
Dodi Fayed and a secret baby emerged today -
Miss Diane Holliday -
He said he would fund her legal battle to win back Marni from her adoptive parents in America. His generosity, according to Miss Holliday, was apparently motivated by a desire to achieve “what is best for both Miss Holliday and the Fayeds … simply trying to help all of them keep things amicable”.
The Evening Standard tried to speak to the businessman in Riyadh about his involvement with Miss Holliday but he declined to comment. Bank statements seen by the Evening Standard support her admission that she could not afford to fund the litigation herself.
Miss Holliday said today: “I was first introduced to him by a friend. He said he knew Dodi Fayed and believed in my story and offered his help. He said he knew the Fayeds and was hoping to make things work out for all of us. I accepted his help and he arranged for my solicitors.”
But others who have denounced her claims detect a more sinister arid manipulative
role in the middle-
The Fayed family has vehemently rejected her claims and have accused her of exploiting the family's grief following the death of Dodi and the Princess of Wales in the Paris car crash.
It is clear Mr Alexiou has been caught up in an embarrassing position by Miss Holliday’s promise yesterday to produce the DNA certificate. It is still to materialise and the Fayed family have made it clear the continuing absence proves it never existed.
Today Miss Holliday’s credibility suffered a further setback when it was revealed she has a background of debts and has traded under four different names while running her hotel venture capital companies.
She has still not answered several vital questions:
(1) She claims a DNA test was carried out, but a certificate or hospital paperwork
associated with the test has never been produced -
(2) She says the test was done by Dodi’s doctor in America using a sample of her blood, Dodi’s blood and Marni’s blood taken from Williamsburg Community Hospital in Virginia with a release form she signed. She has not, however, provided a copy of the release form and Mohamed Fayed’s spokesman has stated that no blood sample of Dodi’s was ever authorised or supplied.
(3) Her account of the adoption of Marni remains unclear. The adoptive parents, Marsha Neifeild and Alan Folkman say she told them another name for the father when the baby was adopted. She also allegedly let down a childless couple in the North of England who gave her money to bring Marni back from America to be fostered by them. They never saw their money again.
(4) Lawyers on behalf of the couple who adopted the child declared that at no time did Miss Holliday say that Dodi was the father. In fact, they stated today, that in papers signed and witnessed by Miss Holliday another person is named as the child’s actual father and the unnamed father had acknowledged his parental status and revoked all rights to the child. Miss Holliday says she gave the name of her first husband, John Bulteel.
(5) She claims she met Dodi at the Ritz Hotel in Paris and subsequently met him at
(6) She has not produced a single photograph of the couple together, or any of his letters to her or telephone records showing his alleged calls.
(7) At the encouragement of her “adviser” she also entered into negotiations with
Miss Holliday maintains however she is telling the truth. She said: “I never wanted this to come out. I am caught up in a game between Tiny Rowland and Mohamed. I am just an ordinary person with an ordinary life and the ordinary financial muddles everyone has. Please tell me what I have gained so far from this if I’m lying?”
Miss Holliday has asked the Standard to make it clear that she has neither asked nor been given any money for interviews or photographs. She said: “I do not want money from anybody over this. I just want it all to end.”