In 2010, Al Fayed sold Harrods to the investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund for approximately 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9 billion; €1.7 billion).
Throughout his ownership of Harrods, allegations of sexual harassment emerged, with former employees accusing Al Fayed of targeting young, attractive female staff members.
However, Al Fayed became even more widely recognized for his connection to Princess Diana. His eldest son, Dodi Fayed, was romantically involved with the late Princess after her divorce from Prince Charles.
The tragic events of August 1997 saw Dodi and Diana traveling in a car driven by one of Al Fayed’s employees. The car crashed in a Paris road tunnel, resulting in the deaths of all three occupants, with an official inquiry attributing the accident to reckless driving and pursuit by paparazzi.
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In the aftermath of this tragedy, Al Fayed publicly accused Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, of orchestrating their deaths. He alleged that Diana was pregnant and planning to marry his son, insinuating that the royal family disapproved of her union with a Muslim man.
This conspiracy campaign led to years of legal battles, which Al Fayed eventually abandoned. Despite his business successes, it was his high-profile battles and associations that often garnered the most attention in the press.