The controversial Andrew Morton biography of Princess Diana was withdrawn from sale at Harrods department store on orders from its owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son died with the princess five weeks ago.
The book, in which Morton says Diana was the main source for the painful details of her early life and marriage to Prince Charles, was due for widespread publication today.
A few London stores put several hundred copies of “Diana, Her True Story - In Her Own Words” on sale Saturday. Dillons said it sold all 4,000 of the books it made available at five central outlets.
Waterstone’s book stores, which has a branch at Harrods, also began selling the book, a revised edition of Morton’s 1992 bestseller “Diana: Her True Story.”
“It was withdrawn on Saturday,” Al Fayed spokesman Michael Cole said Sunday. “Mr. Al Fayed gave the order as soon as he found out the book was on sale.”
“He didn’t want the book in his shop because he saw it as a blatant attempt to gain money out of an awful tragedy for which he is still in grieving.”
Dodi Fayed died in the Aug. 31 car crash in a Paris tunnel that killed the princess. The driver, Henri Paul, who was legally drunk, also died.
Cole said Al Fayed also was honoring a pledge made to the late princess on the publication of the original version - never to sell the work.
Morton has said he would make a donation to charity from the new book’s proceeds, but he did not say how much or identify the charity. The Sunday Telegraph reported that Morton had offered the British Red Cross an estimated $403,000.