It has been nearly 20 years since Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi Al Fayed, were killed in a tragic car crash. As the world mourns this anniversary, learn more about the man who perished by Diana’s side.
1. He was a son of an Egyptian billionaire. The man that died alongside Princess Diana in the Pont de I’alma road tunnel in Paris, France on Aug. 31 1997 began his journey in Egypt. Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed was born on April 15, 1955 in Alexandria. Commonly known as Dodi Al Fayed, he was the eldest son of Mohammed A-Fayed, 88, a billionaire businessman who once owned the luxury department store Harrods in London, as well as the Fulham football club. Dodi grew up while attending schools in Paris, Switzerland and the Sandhurst military academy in the U.K. (the latter would one day also see Prince William and Prince Harry attend, according to Town and Country.) Dodi seemed to fall in love with London. As a teen, he became a figure on the “capital’s nightclub scene,” with a habit for “fast cards and beautiful women.”
2. Dodi was an Academy Award-winning movie producer. After serving as part of the United Arab Emirates air force as a young man, Dodi transitioned into the world of film. With financial help from his father, per The Guardian, Dodi started Allied Stars, a production company. The investment paid off. The young playboy was the executive producer for such films as 1991’s Hook, 1995’s The Scarlet Letter, and 1981’s Chariots of Fire. Chariots won the Academy Award for Best Picture, giving Dodi an Oscar.
3. He first met Diana when she was still married. Dodi first laid eyes on Princess Diana in 1986 at a polo match. Funny enough, Dodi was playing on an opposite team as her then-husband Prince Charles, 68. Nothing really came of that meeting, and Dodi continued to live the life of a playboy. He reportedly dated Julia Roberts, 49, Brooke Shields, 52, Winona Ryder, 45, and Nancy Sinatra, 77. In 1986, he married model Suzanne Gregard, but the marriage fell apart after only 8 months.
4. He supposedly dumped a model to date the princess. In the summer of 1997, Dodi’s father invited Princess Diana and her sons to spend time on his yacht in the south of France. During that trip, she got to know Dodi better and it seemed like love. She reportedly ended her two-year relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan to be with Dodi. He did something similar: Dodi was engaged to model Kelly Fisher, but ended the engagement. She, in response, sued him for $500,000, according to The Sun. Kelly claimed that she ended her modeling career to marry Dodi, but she dropped the lawsuit after his death “out of respect” for the family.
5. He died immediately in that fatal crash. On Aug. 31, 1997, Dodi, Diana, driver Henri Paul and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones were involved in a car accident inside the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. The couple was reportedly trying to avoid the paparazzi when the car crashed into a pillar. Dodi was sitting in the left rear passenger seat in the car and was pronounced dead at the scene (whereas Diana would die from her injuries hours later.) Dodi was buried in a London ceremony before his remains were moved to his father’s property in Surrey.
What do you think about Dodi, HollywoodLifers?