Boyfriend Dodi Fayed Driver Henri Paul
March 9, 2012 by staff
Boyfriend Dodi Fayed Driver Henri Paul, The man who drove Princess Diana to her death may have started bar-hopping at 4 o’clock that afternoon and continued to drink even after being called back to work at the Paris Ritz Hotel at 10 p.m.
Henri Paul, driver of the Mercedes in which Princess Diana was killed, visited several bars and drank several strong alcoholic beverages in the hours before the fatal wreck, according to a joint investigation by CNN and Time magazine.
Details of the investigation were reported on Sunday night’s “Impact” program on CNN and in the current issue of Time. The reports the report may explain why Paul had a .175 blood alcohol level at the time of the Aug. 31 crash, which killed Paul, Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed.
From their interviews and investigation, CNN and Time have put together the following scenario of Paul’s last hours. This is a synopsis of their published reports:
At 3:15 p.m. Saturday, where they had flown in a private jet from Sardinia. Diana and Fayed rode from the airport in a Mercedes driven by Fayed’s regular chauffeur, Philippe Dourneau, followed by Paul.
After the trip from the airport, Paul congratulated Dourneau on losing the paparazzi, a source close to the investigation quoted Dourneau as telling police.
Paul apparently drank his first alcohol that Saturday at a bar in the Ritz Hotel after he and Dourneau took the couple there at 4 p.m. Several hotel employees said that Paul drank a couple of glasses of Ricard pastis, a French liqueur about as potent as whiskey.
At 7:05 p.m., Dourneau drove Diana and Fayed from the Ritz to Fayed’s apartment near the Arc de Triomphe, and Paul considered himself off duty.
He appears to have walked to Harry’s New York Bar, two minutes away at 5 rue Daunou. Since the accident, the bar’s manager has systematically thrown out prying reporters, and he insists that Paul was never there. But the French journalist Guilhem Battut of the Journal du Dimanche says he has interviewed two employees of the bar who positively identified photos of Paul, saying he was in Harry’s the night of the accident from about 7:30 to about 9:45.
The bar manager insists Paul was not there, but one bartender said Paul had “two or three whiskeys,” ate nothing while there, and left after receiving a call on his portable phone.
Paul went next to another Paris bar, the Champmesle, that he is said to have frequented. However, a bartender who placed him there told CNN and Time that he did not appear to be intoxicated and was not there long enough to have a drink.
Paul came into Champmesle late, around 10, but didn’t drink anything there. He didn’t have time. He had just got a call on his cell phone and announced, “Gotta go to work. See you later.” He jumped into his black Austin Mini and headed to the Ritz. Surveillance-camera videotape released last week shows Paul’s car pulling up in front of the Ritz.
Though there was enough space there to park a couple of moving vans, Paul curiously executed several unnecessary back-and-forth maneuvers.
Hotel security cameras showed Paul arriving back at the Ritz at 10:08 p.m. A French newspaper quoted employees at a hotel bar saying Paul drank more pastis while waiting on Fayed and Diana, who were having dinner, and that he staggered while leaving. Bar employees told CNN and Time the report was “exaggerated.”
When the couple were ready to leave the hotel, near midnight, a crowd was gathered outside the entrance that included paparazzi. Ritz staff members suggest it was Paul who persuaded Fayed to let him drive because he thought he could best shield them from the photographers.
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