24th August 1997


Home Page Front Page OP/ED News Business

My love for Di

Princess Diana’s new man has spoken for the first time about being in love with the most famous woman in the world.

Dodi and SuzanneDianaDodi Al Fayed, 41, poured out his feelings for Diana in a heart-to- heart with his former wife Suzanne, 33. Choosing his words carefully to convey the full force of his feelings, he said: "It’s not a fling, I promise. It’s serious." The tycoon, normally so at ease with the trappings of fame, also spoke about the incredible excitement of romancing Diana. "One minute it was private, the next we were overwhelmed with the publicity," he said. "I’ve never known anything like the interest in this." Suzanne bears an incredible likeness to the princess. She is slim, tall and has the same shock of blonde hair and deep blue eyes.

Suzanne said: "When I eventually spoke to him, I said, ‘OK, so why didn’t you tell me about all this? This is a bit of a bolt from the blue. "He told me, ‘Well, I didn’t have time,’ then explained about the overwhelming publicity. "I went on, ‘Well, is this just a temporary thing, a fling? Or is it something more serious?’

"He sounded quite sombre, promised me that it wasn’t a fling, then said,’ Diana and I are having a romance, a true romance.’

‘"I kind of went, wow, so it IS serious!’ And he said, ‘Yes it is’. "I didn’t ask him any personal details, but I know Dodi well enough to realise that he must be in love with Di-and I’m sure she must be in love with him." Recalling every word of their chat, Suzanne went on: ‘Dodi said that he’ll be coming to LA. soon and that we must have dinner. "I asked him, ‘Will you be bringing Diana with you?’ He said. ‘Well I might, it all depends on schedules and other things.’ If it’s just Dodi alone, then he, me and my husband will have dinner together. If Diana is with him, then we’ll go out as a foursome.’’ Suzanne is now happily married to Beverly Hills surgeon Phillipe Quilici, 42. They have two boys aged one and four.

"It would be nice to meet Diana, but we wouldn’t be overawed," she said. "My husband is a top surgeon, I was an international model, and we live and work alongside the Hollywood community. "The jet-set life is something of a cliche, but we’ve lived that life so I’m sure we could take Princess Di in our stride. "There are lots of people who’d be overawed having a romance with Diana - but not Dodi. Even with the additional pressure of all this publicity he’s still very cool." Since the couple split up in 1987 Dodi has been one of the world’s great playboys, surrounded by beautiful women wherever he goes. But Suzanne’s brother Ken remembers the first time he turned up at the family home. "My dad made Dodi come to the house and ask for Suzanne’s hand in marriage," he said.

"It was so cool, there was this little house in Long Beach, and this millionaire turns up with limos and bodyguards standing outside.

"The neighbours thought the President was visiting. But Dodi worshipped Suzanne. She actually told me once, ‘You know he gets down on the ground and kisses my feet’ Suzanne’s mum, Danish-born Elise Gregard, chipped in: He and Suzanne first had a place in Malibu, and then in New York. I remember them coming for Christmas dinner to our home in Long Beach. "Dodi brought every single one of the family a gift he had chosen and bought himself. ‘We had a traditional Christmas, with roast turkey and all the trimmings, we put the gifts around our decorated Christmas tree, and Dodi seemed to love it all.

"I also remember Suzanne telling me that when she and Dodi were in Britain they were at a function or a concert, I cannot remember which, and were both introduced to the Prince and Princess of Wales. "I did think about that when I learned that Dodi is seeing Diana.

"There is a tremendous physical likeness between Suzanne and Di ana, and I think it’s probable that at last he has found someone who can fill the gap in his life that Suzanne left when they parted. Mrs. Gregard, 61, then offered her own message of hope to Diana. "I actually think you’re very fortunate", she told the princess. "Here is a man who - if he really loves you - will be utterly dedicated to you. "He’s sweet, he’s kind, he’s funny, and he’s very rich - so you’ll be able to live in the way you have become accustomed.

"Dodi is very gentle and tender. If it couldn’t work out between my daughter and him - and that’s all water under the bridge - l hope he can make you happy."

- News of the World

Continue to Plus page 12 -Will Hanson’s disease affect Australia?

Return to the Plus contents page

Read Letters to the Editor

Go to the Plus Archive



Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to or to