Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 14:12 UK

Dodi woman 'was not gold digger'

Dodi Fayed
Diane Holliday claimed Dodi Fayed was the father of her love child

A woman who claimed to have had Dodi Fayed's love child has denied in front of an Old Bailey jury that she was a blackmailing gold digger.

Diane Holliday is said to have been the target of a hitman hired by 44-year-old Surrey cemetery boss Erkin Guney.

Mrs Holliday had been living with Mr Guney's late father, Ramadan, 76. The prosecution alleges he wanted to stop her claiming the millionaire's fortune.

Mr Guney denies soliciting the murder of Diane Holliday, 47, last year.

Mrs Holliday told the court she was friends with Dodi Fayed from 1995 to 1996 and that she believed her daughter, who had been adopted, was his child.

Defending, Edward Rees QC accused Mrs Holliday of trying to blackmail Harrods boss Mohammed al-Fayed, after his son Dodi died in the Paris car crash with Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.

Deliver letter

After she admitted taking money from Mr al-Fayed and businessman Tiny Rowland, Mrs Holliday was accused of playing the two rivals against each other.

"You, madam, are a gold digger are you not?" Mr Rees said.

She replied: "No I am not."

She said Mr al-Fayed had given her £700 to deliver a letter to Mr Rowland, who had then given her £5,000 as a Christmas gift.

Mr Rees asked: "Were you trying to blackmail one or other of these two men, playing one off against the other knowing they were sworn enemies?"

"No, they had been very good friends," she replied.

Ramadan Guney, who owned Britain's largest private burial ground, Brookwood in Woking, had a nine-year-old son with Mrs Holliday.

Brookwood Cemetery
Ramadan Guney was the owner of Brookwood Cemetery in Woking

Erkin Guney was one of six other children he had with his late wife.

Mr Rees suggested Mr Guney had doubts about Mrs Holliday's motive for her relationship with his father, which began when he was 66 and she was 36.

"I think he believes I have killed his father," Mrs Holliday told the court.

"Obviously, with my involvement with the al-Fayeds, he would be suspicious."

Mrs Holliday was asked about money she had taken in the UK and US for the adoption of the child but said it was only to cover her expenses.

She denied making up an allegation that burglars had tied her up in an office at the cemetery, where she also worked.

But she agreed the details were similar to another claim she made in 1999 about being tied up in her car by robbers who took papers, which she said were Dodi's medical details.

She had later been charged with wasting police time.

The trial continues.



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SEE ALSO
Cemetery boss 'feared poisoning'
23 Apr 09 |  Surrey
Cemetery manager 'hired hitman'
22 Apr 09 |  Surrey

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