The fifth season of The Crown focuses heavily on Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ various post-split romances, and while we primarily see Diana’s relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, we also get a glimpse of her future boyfriend Dodi Fayed.
Diana and Dodi did not begin dating until the summer of 1997 (shortly after the termination of her romance with Hasnat), but an entire episode of The Crown was devoted to his father, Mohamed Al-Fayed. And because of Mohamed’s arc on the program, viewers got a brief glimpse of Dodi and Diana meeting (as well as footage of Dodi getting engaged to his actress girlfriend), setting him up to be a pivotal character in the sixth and final season of The Crown. Here is all we know about Dodi’s short yet remarkable existence.
Dodi Was a Billionaire
Or at least his, as he was born into a millionaire family. Dodi (born Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Mena’em Fayed) was the eldest son of Samira Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian author, and Mohamed Al-Fayed, an enormously wealthy Egyptian businessman who controlled Harrods and the Ritz, as seen in The Crown.
He Was a Film Maker
Dodi produced the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, as seen in The Crown. He also worked on the films Breaking Glass and The Scarlet Letter.
In addition to his Hollywood projects, Dodi reportedly worked with his father in various family businesses and received a monthly allowance of £400,000.
Like Diana, Dodi Was Divorced
Dodi wed Suzanne Gregard in 1986, but they divorced less than a year later. Then, in 1997, he became engaged to model Kelly Fisher; however, their engagement ended abruptly when Dodi began dating Princess Diana.
Dodi and Diana’s relationship became public in August 1997 when they were caught kissing on the Fayed family yacht (the photo was published on August 10, 1997, according to the Diana book by Sara Bradford).
The Sunday Mirror speculated at the time (via a People article published on August 25, 1997, less than a week before Dodi and Diana’s deaths): “It is clear from the sensual body language that they have found sexual and spiritual fulfillment in one another.”
The Guardian said that Dodi was “connected” to other women prior to dating Diana, including Brooke Shields, Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, and Daryl Hannah.
Suzanne, Dodi’s ex-girlfriend, had nothing but good things to say about his relationship with Diana when it was initially revealed that they were dating: “He was very sweet and caring,” she told People. “He did not take the situation too seriously. Once, during a romantic dinner that he had planned, the table we were seated at collapsed, and the entire turkey fell to the ground. We were really amused. This was what I admired most about him.
His Ex-fiancée Sued Him for Leaving Her
Kelly Fisher was unhappy with Dodi’s decision to leave her for Diana, and she sued him for breaking their relationship. On August 15, 1997, Kelly held a press conference in Beverly Hills (wearing her engagement ring for added drama) and her attorney, Gloria Allred, issued a lengthy statement claiming, among other things, that Dodi had cheated on her “They led her emotionally to the altar and then abandoned her when they were nearly there. He discarded her affection in a cruel manner, without any regard for her.”
Allred also claimed that “Miss Fisher learned about Mr. Fayed’s betrayal not from Mr. Fayed, but from the ‘kiss photo’ that was published and circulated around the world, much to her dismay, shock, and humiliation.”
Dodi Died Tragically in a Car Crash With Diana
Dodi was traveling with Diana when they were sadly murdered in a vehicle accident. The couple was vacationing in Paris on August 31, 1997, following a tour to the French and Italian rivieras. According to the BBC, Mohamed Al-spokesman Fayed’s for the press, Michael Cole, said that Dodi and Diana were engaged prior to their deaths.
According to reports, scenes depicting Diana and Dodi’s deaths would be included in The Crown’s sixth season, causing “anxiety” on set. According to what a source told Deadline, “While we are proceeding gently, it is fair to say that there is a certain anxiousness, a definite sense of being on edge. I mean, there is explosive sensitivity surrounding this situation.”
I am hopeful that the program will approach this with customary compassion.
Season 5 of The Crown is currently available to stream on Netflix.