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Who is Dodi Fayed? All about his depiction on ‘The Crown’ and ties to Princess Diana

Season Six of "The Crown" offers insight into the final few months of the pair's romance, and the moments leading up to their deaths.
/ Source: TODAY

Emad "Dodi" Fayed has made global headlines for his romantic ties to Princess Diana, specifically around the time of his and her death in 1997.

The newest season of "The Crown" remembers Fayed for more than his final moments in Paris. In Season Six, viewers are taken to Diana and Fayed's summer vacation in Saint-Tropez, France, as he deals with his alleged engagement to American model Kelly Fisher.

In real-life, Fayed denied he was still involved with Fisher when he started to pursue Diana, though the series depicts the murkiness of the timelines of his relationships.

Fayed, played by Khalid Abdalla, was first introduced in the show's fifth season, as the son of billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed (born Mohamed Fayed) who is trying to make a name for himself on this own, not under the shadow of his father's fortune.

Abdalla told about how he wanted to portray Fayed in the sixth season of "The Crown."

"I have certainly through, this time, felt a kind of closeness to him," he said Nov. 14. "And in a sense, the question I've asked myself the whole time is, would he have felt like I have done my best to honor him? Of course, I don't have an answer to that question."

Here's what to know about Fayed — including the movies he produced (including "Chariots of Fire"), his fiancée before meeting Diana and what ultimately happened to him.

Fayed was born to a prominent family in Egypt

Fayed was born in Alexandria, Egypt, the child of Mohamed Fayed and Samira Khashoggi, per royal expert Sally Bedell Smith's reporting for Vanity Fair.

At the time, Mohamed Al Fayed — the son of a school teacher — was working for Samira Khashoggi's brother, Adnan Khashoggi, who would go on to become a billionaire arms dealer. This also made Fayed the first cousin of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Fayed’s parents divorced in 1959. He lived with his father, who remarried Finnish socialite and model Heini Wathén, and had four children with her.

He went to a military academy in the U.K.

Fayed grew up between Egypt and France. At 19, he enrolled at the British army's Sandhurst Military Academy and served as an attaché at the London embassy of the United Arab Emirates.

Major Tim Coles, who lived next to Fayed at the Sandhurst Military Academy, told Smith for Vanity Fair he was "quiet, intelligent, pleasant, had a good sense of humor, was friendly, and appreciated help when anyone gave it."

Then, he worked as a movie producer, including for 'Chariots of Fire'

As "The Crown" shows, Fayed and his father executive produced the Oscar-winning movie "Chariots of Fire." He also produced "Breaking Glass," "F/X," "F/X 2," "Hook" and "The Scarlet Letter."

In his 1982 Oscars Best Picture acceptance speech, producer David Puttnam thanked the Fayeds, saying they "came through for us and put their money where my mouth is."

Fayed was previously married and later engaged to Kelly Fisher

Fayed was married to model Suzanne Gregard for eight months in 1987, per the Associated Press.

In August 1997, when Fayed began dating Diana, model Kelly Fisher sued him for breaking up their engagement. Fisher, represented by Gloria Allred, claimed that Fayed promised to marry her and buy her a house in Malibu, per the Associated Press.

Fisher dropped the lawsuit after Fayed's death later that month, per the Associated Press. At the time, a Fayed family spokesman has denied that Fayed promised to marry Fisher, per the Associated Press.

Diana and Fayed likely first met at a polo match in the '80s

Diana and Fayed first at a polo match in the late '80s, as "The Crown" shows, according to Sally Bedell Smith's biography about her. At the time, she was still married to Prince Charles. They didn't reconnect until over a decade later.

Princess Diana, Mohamed Al-Fayed
Diana, Princess of Wales with Prince Charles and Mohamed Al-Fayed during the Harrods Polo Cup at Smith's Lawn in Windsor, UK, July 1987.Getty Images

Diana and Fayed's relationship began after she was invited to their Saint-Tropez villa

In the summer of 1997, Mohamed Al Fayed had invited Diana and her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, to stay at his villa in the south of France.

According to "The Diana Chronicles," by Tina Brown, Diana was getting over a relationship with cardiologist Hasnat Khan. The trip would be a "good place to nurse her disappointments," in Brown's words.

The two eventually traveled together on Fayed's father's yacht. Speaking to the Washington Post, jeweler Alberto Repossi said the couple stopped into the Monaco branch of his store to purchase a diamond ring, but said they did not mention the engagement.

The moment is depicted in Season Six of "The Crown," when the pair rush into a jewelry store while in Monte Carlo, Monaco, while avoiding a group of fans in the third episode.

As Diana appears to be struggling to breathe from the panic, Fayed assures her: "There are worst places to be trapped than a jewelry shop."

Fayed then asks her if there's anything in the store she likes, and Diana points out a ring. They flee the store without purchasing anything, but Fayed is seen later in the episode inside a Repossi store, and then presenting the ring to Diana.

As Fayed gets down on one knee, Diana stops him and explains she isn't ready to get married, despite the pressure from the world for her to wed.

Fayed and Diana died together in a car crash in 1997

The two yachted together around the Mediterranean, then ended up in Paris. The pair arrived in France's capital on Aug. 30, 1997 and spent the evening at Al Fayed's Ritz hotel, according to NBC News.

The couple left the hotel early in the morning on Aug. 31 with bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones and driver Henri Paul, who the BBC reported was deputy head of security at the Ritz.

Newspapers Diana Death
Newspaper headlines announcing the death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31 1997.Tim Graham / Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

Traveling in a sedan, the four entered the Pont de L’Alma tunnel before Paul lost control of the vehicle and collided into the tunnel's 13th pillar.

According to NBC News, both Paul and Fayed were reported dead at the scene. Rees-Jones survived the accident. After regaining consciousness, Diana, 36, was taken to the hospital where she later died of her injuries.

Elizabeth Debicki, who portrays Diana in the fifth and sixth seasons of the show, told about filming the car crash scene alongside Abdalla.

“We had a very shared goal, very shared intention of what we wanted to portray, how we wanted them to be perceived, and what we wanted to kind of give the characters,” she said on Nov. 16. “I wouldn’t have been able to stay, kind of, above the horror of that without him by my side.”

She added it was difficult not to get overwhelmed while filming the paparazzi chases.

“When you’re in those scenes, like the particular ones you were describing of being chased and being handled and trapped in a small space, all of that is such a physical, visceral experience,” she said. “It sort of is happening to you and you just have to let yourself react to it.”

Fayed is buried in the U.K.

Diana Harrods shrine
An eight-foot high bronze sculpture at Harrod's department store honored Dodi Fayed and Diana.Michael Stephens / PA Images via Getty Images

Fayed, 41, was buried following a ceremony at a mosque. His grave is located at Brookwood cemetery.

Debicki said that as the series got closer to the scenes involving Diana and Dodi’s deaths, “there was an immense sadness there.”

“We had to manage that. And there were days where that felt really difficult, and then there were days where we felt like we were kind of getting through it,” she told “It’s a really unique thing to film.”