A large poster for the new “Diana” biopic has sparked outrage over its placement in Paris just steps from where the beloved British icon died in a harrowing car crash.
The movie billboard on an outdoor pedestal near the tragic Pont de l’Alma tunnel shows actress Naomi Watts in character as the late Princess of Wales.
“I really don’t have any words to describe how I feel about this cynical and shameless attempt to publicize a film that should never have been made,” Rosa Monckton, for many years one of Princess Diana‘s closest confidantes, told MailOnline.
She called the poster’s placement “crass” and said she never expected the film’s marketers to “stoop so low.”
Reg Lancaster/Getty Images
At left is the real Princess Diana of Wales. On the right is Naomi Watts, star of the upcoming biopic “Diana,’ directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel.
“To have made a film so speculative and as this is disgusting enough, but to then advertise it on the spot at which she died is despicable,” she said. “It is a terrible intrusion into her memory, not to mention the lives of her sons, whose feelings are often forgotten in these stories.”
Monckton said she expected the movie’s distributors to “take it down right away.”
The new film loosely chronicles Diana’s romance with Dr. Hasnat Khan, the Pakistani heart surgeon she dated for about two years until just months before her death.
Diana was with her last romantic companion Dodi Fayed when they both were killed in a fiery, high-speed car crash on Aug. 31, 1997.
‘To have made a film so speculative and as this is disgusting enough, but to then advertise it on the spot at which she died is despicable,’ says Rosa Monckton, a close friend of Princess Diana, whose life is the subject of an upcoming film starring Naomi Watts.
Their driver, who also died, was intoxicated and lost control of the couple’s Mercedes as paparazzi pursued them into the tunnel, investigators found.
A spokesman for Paris City Hall said the posters were on display “all over” Paris, and that the one above the Alma tunnel was “one of many,” according to People Magazine.
The spokesman added that all the posters were displayed legally.
The new Watts movie was widely panned in Britain and opened in Paris to similarly bad reviews.
“Poor Diana, Poor Naomi Watts,” read the headline on a review in Le Nouvel Observateur. The critic claimed it was “impossible” to imagine an “uglier” final product.