Billionaire former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, who lost his first son Dodi in the tragic car crash that also killed Princess Diana, is patching up family rifts as his health starts to fail.
Youngest son Omar, 33, has extended an olive branch to the his father and the rest Fayed clan, specifically to his sister Camilla, 36, with whom he has been embroiled in a legal battle.
Relations between the family and Omar – who was once set to inherit Harrods, the Knightsbridge store Mohamed owned – have soured of late.
A source says Omar had ceased visiting his father at his Surrey estate – despite the fact the 92-year-old is ‘nearing the end of his life’.
Al Fayed, 92 owned Harrods from 1985 to 2010, and was the store’s most famous owner.
Relations between Mohamed, the family, and Omar – who was once set to inherit Harrods, the Knightsbridge store Mohamed owned – have soured of late
Al Fayed lost his first son Dodi, left, who was in a car with the Princess of Wales, pictured right
Omar had been set to inherit Harrods, pictured, until he started legal proceedings against his sister Camilla in the High Court seeking £100k in damages
Tensions worsened last July when Omar filed a case against Camilla at the High Court, seeking £100,000 in damages after accusing her and her husband Mohamed Esreb of sending bodyguards to accost him during one of his rare visits to the estate.
Legal papers show restaurateur Camilla denied the accusations and offered a defence that she believed Omar ‘was on drugs’ at the time.
But last night Omar, who works for satirical magazine Punch, explained to the Mail ‘he’s not a druggie’ and that he is ready for a rapprochement.
He added Covid restrictions, which have prevented him seeing his father, have been a source of rancour.
‘I love my sister very much and she knows that,’ he said.
‘Perhaps it was because I didn’t see my father for months during pandemic restrictions. We don’t necessarily get to choose our family members.
‘Before my sister and her husband got together, she and I lived together and had many mutual friends. We were very, very close.’
Al Fayed, 92 and reportedly ‘nearing the end of his life’, famously owned Harrods from 1985 to 2010, and was the store’s most famous owner (pictured with Princess Diana in February 1996)
But Camilla has hit back at the claims, asking ‘how it is alleged’ that two bodyguards were acting under her ‘direction and control’.
Mohamed is unaware of the court battle between two of his children, according to his wife Heini Wathen.
While another family source said: ‘This would hurt him so much.’
It now seems unlikely the case will progress after a judge told them to settle their differences in private.
Al Fayed purchased Harrods and House of Fraser with his brother from mining conglomerate Lonrho in 1985.
The takeover was bitterly fought between Al Fayed and Lonrho’s director Tiny Rowland. Al Fayed had previously served on Lonrho’s board.
An inquiry held by the Board of Trade in 1990 concluded that the Al Fayed brothers had lied about their background and wealth in their efforts to buy the store.
Al Fayed, who is now 92, is the father of Dodi Fayed, who was in a relationship with Princess Diana when they were both killed in car crash in Paris in 1997.
In 1994, the Al Fayed brothers sold House of Fraser as part of a stock market flotation, but kept Harrods.
The eccentric Al Fayed installed the Egyptian Room in the store, which boasted several busts of himself, and he also created a memorial to Dodi and Diana in the store.
The former Harrods owner sold the iconic store for £1.5 billion to Qatar Holdings in 2010. He also previously owned Fulham football club and currently owns the Paris Ritz hotel.
Al Fayed made a string of allegations following the death of his son and Princess Diana in a car crash on August 31, 1997.
He alleged the pair were murdered by the security services on the orders of Prince Philip to prevent her from marrying a Muslim.
He also claimed Diana was pregnant at the time of the accident, though he had no evidence of either claim.
Al Fayed had Dodi with first wife Samira Khashoggi, before divorcing and remarrying Heini Wathen, with whom he has Omar, Camilla, Karim, and Jasmine.
Al Fayed has faced a series of sexual harassment claims in recent years – including allegations he showered a young Harrods employee with gifts before trying to kiss her.
He, at the time, denied ‘false’ allegations made by a woman whose complaint to the police when she was a teenager was dropped.
Al Fayed also previously owned Fulham football club (pictured with newly appointed manager Mark Hughes in 2012) and currently owns the Paris Ritz hote