On the day after the crash, French authorities insisted that he was an alcoholic and ‘drunk as a pig’ when he left the Ritz that night to drive the lovers to Dodi’s Paris apartment near the Champs-Elysees.
It has since emerged that the blood tests on Paul’s body had not been completed when they made the announcement to journalists.
Furthermore, the chauffeur had passed an intensive medical examination for flying lessons three days before the crash — his liver showed no sign of alcohol abuse.
A string of witnesses at the Ritz say Paul drank two shots of his favourite Ricard at the bar before taking to the wheel, which was confirmed by bar receipts at the hotel.
However, after a shambolic mix- up over his blood samples (deliberate or otherwise), it was pronounced by a medical expert at the inquest that Paul had downed ten of the aperitifs, was twice over the British driving limit and three times over the French one, when he drove the Mercedes that night.