10/19/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, the sole survivor of the August 1997 car crash that killed Princess Diana and two others, admits he still feels haunted by the fact that the Princess died "on my shift" and claims that he would have gladly traded his life for hers. Rees-Jones's comments appeared over the weekend in London's Daily Telegraph -- in advance of the publication of his new book, "The Bodyguard's Story" -- and immediately brought strong criticism from Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed. (The younger Fayed, along with driver Henri Paul, also perished in the accident.) "I suspect his story is merely being used to reinforce an Establishment cover-up," said Al Fayed, who has long maintained that the Royal Family played a part in what he calls the murder of Diana and his son, in a statement. Rees-Jones, a former paratrooper who was injured in the crash, told the Telegraph: "If I could have died and those three survived, I would have done it. If I could have done something . . . I go mad thinking about 'if onlys.' "