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Princess Grace Crash Rumors Denied

October 11, 2002

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PARIS (AP) _ Princess Stephanie of Monaco insists in an interview with a French magazine that she was not the driver in the 1982 accident that killed her mother, Princess Grace.

Princess Grace and Stephanie were in a car that drove off a mountain road and plunged down a cliff in the Mediterranean principality on Sept. 13, 1982. Princess Grace, the former actress Grace Kelly, died the next day.

Stephanie has been followed for two decades by rumors that she was the driver, or that the two were arguing heatedly over the 17-year-old’s plans to marry her then-boyfriend, Paul Belmondo, son of French film star Jean-Paul Belmondo.

``I did not drive, it is clear,″ she was quoted as saying in an interview with Paris Match celebrity magazine, adding that she slammed the gear into park from the passenger seat and pressed the brake with her hand in an attempt to stop the car.

Stephanie declined to discuss what she and her mother were talking about at the time of the accident.

The princess, whose tumultuous love life has long provided grist for the tabloids, said she still suffers emotional trauma from her mother’s death and urged the media to stop speculating about her role in the accident.

``When I read in the newspapers that I killed my mother, it is simply horrible,″ she said. ``Let my mother rest in peace, let me live.″

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