The man whose white Fiat Uno clipped the Mercedes Benz carrying Diana, Princess of Wales and her lover Dodi Fayed — sending them to a grim death in a Paris tunnel twenty-five years ago today — is finally ready to talk publicly.
On the anniversary of Diana’s death, Radar approached Le Van Thanh, a former taxi driver, who demanded 500,000 euros to discuss what really happened on that fateful night.
“Nothing is free in life,” he said. “You pay €500,000 for me to talk.”
Multiple investigations into Diana’s death have revealed how Van Than’s Fiat Uno careered into the black Mercedes S280 and hurtled it into the thirteenth pillar of Paris’ Pont de l’Alma tunnel. Diana and two other passengers were killed.
Former Scotland Yard chief John Stevens has said he tried to get in touch with the driver twice in 2017 — but Van Thanh turned down the chance to speak about Diana’s accident.
He also refused to be interviewed as part of the highly publicized Operation Paget investigation, commissioned to solve the mysterious crash.
Van Thanh owned a white Fiat Uno — identical to the car investigators believe hit Diana’s limo. He also owned a Rottweiler similar to the large dog witnesses said they saw in the back of the Fiat.
What’s more, Van Thanh’s own father, Francois, claimed in a 2006 interview that his son resprayed his Fiat red hours after the tragedy — insisting he woke up his mechanic brother, Dung, in the middle of the night to do the job.
When asked by RadarOnline.com what he would reveal in a paid interview, Van Thanh said: “I want the money before… I already told you I don't speak for free.”
Two eyewitnesses — a couple driving home from dinner in a Rolls-Royce — noticed a white Fiat Uno fly by them, swerving, as they exited the tunnel around the time of the crash.
Adding to the intrigue, Trevor Rees-Jones, Diana’s bodyguard and the only survivor of the crash, had flashbacks about the mystery vehicle involved in the accident.
“My clearest, and last, memories of the night are of the Mercedes pulling away. I saw again the white or light-colored car that crossed the road and followed us,” the tormented bodyguard said.
Moira Johnston, who co-wrote the bodyguard’s autobiography, has stated, “Just as Henri Paul was simultaneously faced with navigating the left curve and substantial dip which led into the tunnel, he was confronted by a small white Fiat Uno blocking the right lane.”
She added: “The Uno was probably just outside, and about to enter, the tunnel as Paul first saw it. With contact with the Fiat Uno, the crash sequence had begun.”
In an interview for the 2019 book Diana: Case Solved, Van Than told investigator Dylan Howard how French police had instructed him not to speak to British prosecutors in London.
When asked why he won’t talk with the police, Van Thanh replied, “They have tried to get me to help them, but this is not my job.”
He also recalled how he was told that "it’s not the same law as in France — don’t go there.”
“That’s why I let them [the public] think what they want,” Van Thanh added, referring to the various conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Diana, Dodi, and their driver, Henri Paul, who was later proven to have been intoxicated at the time.
Van Thanh was 22 at the time of Diana’s death, and there has never been any credible suggestion he was involved in any kind of plot against Prince Charles’ former wife.
In Diana: Case Solved, Howard concluded Van Thanh’s involvement in the accident was just that — a tragic accident.
Ironically, the muscleman now runs a limousine firm from his home near Paris, where he also trains at a gym in the center of the city to prepare for his entry into national and international bodybuilding contests.
Van Thanh’s lawyer insisted in 2018 that his client had nothing to do with the crash which claimed Diana’s life and triggered a worldwide outpouring of grief, changing the British monarchy forever.