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Who Was Dodi Fayed's Girlfriend Before Princess Diana? All About Kelly Fisher

Kelly Fisher, Dodi al-Fayed
Kelly Fisher, Dodi al-Fayed

KIM KULISH/AFP ; Aaron Rapoport/CORBIS OUTLINE/Corbis

Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana were one of the most high-profile couples in the world at the time of their tragic deaths in 1997 — but the People's Princess wasn't the only love Dodi knew in his life.

Before dating Diana, Dodi was in a relationship with American-born model Kelly Fisher. In The Crown season 5, Erin Richards plays Kelly, with the Netflix drama depicting her in a romance with Dodi, much to the chagrin of his father, Mohamed Al-Fayed.

In real life, most people didn't know about Kelly and Dodi's romance until it ended, largely because it ended quite acrimoniously.

So who is the woman who stole Dodi's heart, however briefly, before he romanced the then-Princess of Wales? Here's everything to know about Kelly Fisher and her relationship with Dodi Fayed.

Kelly Fisher was a successful model

Kelly Fisher, leaves the High court in London after giving evidence for the inquest into the deaths of Dodi Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales
Kelly Fisher, leaves the High court in London after giving evidence for the inquest into the deaths of Dodi Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales

Steve Parsons - PA Images/PA Images

Kelly was born in Louisville, Kentucky, where she and her family lived for several years before they relocated to Toronto for her father's job, she told Aiken Woman.

She was discovered as a teen in Toronto and began modeling while on summer breaks from school. After high school, Kelly went to college for two semesters before dropping out to focus on modeling full-time. Her modeling career highlights include the cover of Marie Claire, as well as for brands including Armani, La Perla and Victoria's Secret.

Kelly Fisher claimed she and Dodi Fayed were engaged when he and Princess Diana started dating

Kelly met Dodi Fayed in July 1996 while they were both in Paris, and they got together quickly. Kelly later alleged that Dodi started romancing Princess Diana just as speedily, and claimed that there was a significant overlap between her relationship with Dodi and his and Diana's courtship. Vanity Fair reported that Kelly would wait for Dodi on one of his yachts while he cavorted with the Princess of Wales on another yacht.

Kelly reportedly didn't know that Dodi was actually having an affair with Diana until The Sunday Mirror published photos of the pair kissing. According to Kelly's attorney, Kelly and Dodi were slated to marry on Aug. 9, 1997 — and Dodi gave her a large sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

Dodi Fayed's family denied he was ever engaged to Kelly Fisher

According to Vanity Fair, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, slammed Kelly as a "hooker" and a "gold digger." In a report from The Irish Times, a spokesman for Dodi's family denied he had ever proposed marriage to Kelly but did concede that Dodi knew her.

Kelly's mother, Judith Dunaway, stood by the model, saying that Dodi asked for permission to marry Kely in November 1996 when the couple attended Kelly's sister's nuptials. Dunaway told the press (via The Los Angeles Times), "No one's daughter deserves to be treated as my daughter was. Kelly loved him, trusted him and has been treated very cruelly by him. Dodi Fayed should be ashamed."

Kelly Fisher sued Dodi Fayed for ending their engagement and getting together with Princess Diana

Kelly Fisher, 31, (L) and her attorney Gloria Allred show off the large sapphire and diamond engagement ring given to her by former Egyptian fiancee Dodi al-Fayed
Kelly Fisher, 31, (L) and her attorney Gloria Allred show off the large sapphire and diamond engagement ring given to her by former Egyptian fiancee Dodi al-Fayed

KIM KULISH/AFP via Getty

Days after The Sunday Mirror published photos of Dodi and Diana, Kelly enlisted attorney Gloria Allred and sued Dodi for breach of contract, alleging that his leaving her for Princess Diana violated their marriage agreement. In her lawsuit, Kelly claimed that Dodi offered her $500,000 to ditch her modeling career to spend more time with him, but that he only gave her $60,000 and a $200,000 check that bounced; Kelly's suit sought the remaining $440,000 of the alleged balance, plus damages.

During an August 1997 press conference, a tearful Kelly looked on as Allred told reporters, "Mr. Fayed needs to take responsibility for the woman that he 'left at the altar' and treated with such total disrespect. He threw her love away in a callous way with no regard for her whatsoever."

At the press conference, Kelly invited Princess Diana to meet with her to discuss their respective romances with Dodi. The Princess of Wales never responded to the invitation. At the time, a rep for the Fayed family told The Associated Press (via The Los Angeles Times), "We are content to leave it to the good sense of the British and American people to judge this development for what it is."

Kelly Fisher dropped the lawsuit against Dodi Fayed after his death

Just days after Kelly announced she was suing Dodi, Dodi and Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash following a paparazzi chase — then Kelly and Allred dropped the lawsuit.

Allred said in a statement at the time, "Out of respect for the tragedy, and tremendous loss the Fayed family has suffered, she has authorized me as her attorney, to dismiss her lawsuit against Mr Fayed. Although she does have the legal right to pursue the lawsuit against his estate after his death, she has voluntarily chosen not to exercise that right."

She continued in part, "Kelly loved Dodi very much, and she is devastated by his loss, and that of Princess Diana. Nothing is more important than the life of a human being. In the light of this enormous tragedy, Kelly forgives Dodi for all of his past injustices against her."

Kelly Fisher didn't go to Dodi Fayed's funeral

Kelly didn't attend Dodi's funeral on Sept. 1, 1997. Allred told the media that Kelly wanted to attend her ex's memorial services, but that it "happened so fast" that Kelly could not fly to London in time.

Phone recordings of Dodi Fayed and Kelly Fisher were made public after he died

The Crown
The Crown

Netflix

Kelly participated in the inquest into Princess Diana's death, and in 2008, transcripts of heated phone calls between Kelly and Dodi became public. In the conversations, she accuses Dodi of two-timing her and Princess Diana, saying, "You even flew me down to St. Tropez to sit on a boat while you seduced Diana all day and f— me all night." She also told Dodi in one call, "You are f—crazy. We were together the whole time. And you knew it."

Per the transcripts, Dodi repeatedly tried to end the conversation, calling Kelly "hysterical," saying they were broken up when he was with Diana and accusing her of totaling his $50,000 car, which she denied.

Kelly Fisher married a pilot

In 2007, Kelly met pilot Mikhail Movshina while they were both on a safari in the Central African Republic. She told Aiken Woman in 2014, "He was working with the government to stop the Sudanese poachers from slaughtering the elephants for their tusks."

After Movshina's work in Africa ended, he and Kelly lived together in Paris and then in the Swiss Alps. In 2010, upon learning she was pregnant, she and Movshina moved to Aiken, South Carolina, to be closer to her family. She and Movshina still reside in Aiken, along with their daughter, Alexandra, who was born in 2011.