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Woodward Tuesday, 23 June, 1998, 07:45 GMT 08:45 UK
If parents didn't do it, who did? - Woodward
Louise Woodward talks exclusively to the BBC
Louise Woodward talked exclusively to the BBC
The complete Panorama interview - video on demand

Louise Woodward, the British woman convicted by a US court of the manslaughter of a baby, has claimed in an exclusive BBC interview that she was made to pay for the infant's death.

In the interview broadcast on BBC One's Panorama programme, she says of the death of Matthew Eappen: "The mentality is that somebody has to pay. You know, and that seemed to be the problem, that, well, if the parents didn't do it, who did? There's only you left."

The 20-year-old former au pair also talked about life with the Eappen family, her supporters back in Britain and her reaction to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision to allow her to go home.

'No payment'

In a statement released on Sunday, the BBC said: "No payment of any kind has been made to Louise Woodward, the Woodward family or to any third party acting for the Woodwards.

"The BBC will not be profiting from sales of the interview, which will be distributed internationally free of charge."

The interview was carried out by the BBC's Martin Bashir, who previously secured for Panorama an exclusive interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

In the interview, Woodward set out her argument that she did not cause eight-month-old Matthew Eappen's death.

Martin Bashir
Bashir: Interviewed Princess Diana
She was also quizzed over why she had no message for the Eappen family when questioned by journalists at a news conference held at Manchester Airport on the day she returned.

She told Panorama she felt there was a feeling someone had to pay for Matthew Eappen's death - and that somebody was her.

'Somebody had to pay'

The former au pair said: "If the parents didn't do it, who did?

"There was only you left and there was the whole feeling that somebody had to pay and that somebody had to be me."

Woodward also described her experience of working in the US, the day of Matthew Eappen's death and the subsequent trial.

The BBC spokesman stressed: "There were no conditions attached about what questions could be asked."

Woodward's mother, Sue, added: "She is anxious to speak. You'll get lots of answers.

"She feels anxious to be able to speak. She wants people to be able to listen to what she's got to say.

"She wants people to see her as a person."

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BBC News
Louise Woodward: the mentality is that somebody had to pay
BBC News
BBC News' Philippa Thomas: she knows British public is sceptical
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