Squidgygate refers to the pre-1990 telephone conversations between Diana, Princess of Wales and a close friend, James Gilbey, and to the controversy surrounding how those conversations were recorded. During the calls, Gilbey affectionately called Diana by the names Squidgy and Squidge . In the conversation, the Princess of Wales likens her situation to that of a character in the popular British soap opera EastEnders, and expresses concern that she might be pregnant.
In 1992, The Sun newspaper publicly revealed the tapes' existence in an article entitled Squidgygate , which is a cultural reference to the American Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. The publication of the tapes was a highpoint of the War of the Waleses that accelerated the separation and eventual divorce of The Prince and Princess of Wales.
Reenan claimed that he had been so worried by the evident security breach that he had first thought of attempting to gain an audience with Diana: I could have used a code-word, perhaps the nickname Squidgy... I was trying to save her face in a way. However, having thought on it for a day, at least , Reenan decided that he would not get to see Diana. So he rang the Sun instead.
Published in The Sun on 23 August 1992, Squidgygate (initially called Dianagate ) was the front-page revelation of the existence of a tape-recording of Diana, Princess of Wales talking to a close friend, who later turned out to be Gilbey, heir to the eponymous gin fortune. Gilbey, who initially denied The Sun's charges, was a 33-year-old Lotus car-dealer who had been a friend of Diana's since childhood. Their conversation, which took place on New Year's Eve 1989, was wide-ranging. A special phone line allowed thousands of callers to hear the contents of the 30-minute tape for themselves, at 36 pence per minute.