Witnesses to crash that killed Princess Diana

November 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Jack and Robin Firestone were witnesses to the immediate aftermath of the car crash that killed Princess Diana. Now, they are telling their story through a historical fiction novel called "Chasing Diana."

Book signing:
Barnes & Noble
Fisherman's Wharf
Thursday, November 13, 2008
3pm

www.chasingdiana.com

Buy the book on Amazon: Chasing Diana

About Robin Firestone:

Known as "The Home Business Diva" since becoming an entrepreneur and successfully launching a home business in January 2004, Robin is very involved in Personal Development Training and Coaching. An International Call Host, she and her husband Jack, travel the world, training people how to create the necessary changes in their lives to achieve the results they desire.

It has been Robin's mission to educate as many people as possible around the world that they are not victims of their circumstance; that we all deserve to live life to the fullest. As a respected coach and speaker, she teaches how one can be successful, personally as well as financially.

Much of Robin's life has been spent as a dedicated volunteer, giving back to her community. She has tutored learning disabled students, was a volunteer for the Pediatric Oncology Dept. for a Long Island hospital and served as an integral volunteer at Long Island's Margaret Basner Parenting Center where she was the designated liaison between the schools and her community.

Following the birth of her son Brandon in 1985, Robin became very involved in his school and athletic life. As the PTA President, as well as an active volunteer with the School Board, Robin started the Aids Awareness Program at Brandon's elementary school. Continuing her path of involvement, Robin would go on to serve as Chair of the Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board at Brandon's high school.

Robin's other community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Special Events and Services Department (SESD) for the Five Towns Community Chest and has headed many fundraising events. Year after year, Robin has also dedicated much of her time to the Peter J. Desibio Foundation of the Five Towns for which she has collected books, toys, clothing and food for their annual children's Christmas Party.

At the Hebrew school attended by Robin and Jack's son Brandon, Robin founded a Parents Association. She also served on the Sisterhood Board of Directors of her Temple for many years and chaired many of their many fundraising events. As an adult, Robin would begin exploring her curiosity about the history of Judaism and began studying the Hebrew language, eventually fulfilling her desire to become Bat Mitzvah.

Robin has triumphed in the face of great adversity. Following a 3 year battle with cancer, she was only 12 years old when she lost her beautiful young mother Betty at the age of 33. Along with her two sisters, Linda, 17 months older and Deidre, 9 years younger, Robin's life was turned upside down. With her dad Marvin getting remarried and her stepmother, Roberta having 3 children of her own, the instant "Brady Bunch" family all moved in together on Long Island. Tragedy would strike again when on Memorial Day in 1981, just days after Robin turned 25, her dad died suddenly at age 49 of a heart attack.

Enter Robin's Knight in shining Armor -- Jack Firestone! The couple has been happily married since August 1982 and in 1985 were blessed with the birth of a beautiful baby boy, Brandon Maxwell. Unfortunately, tragedy would strike again when shortly after welcoming their son when Robin's stepmother Roberta died of cancer. Seven months later, Robin herself received the devastating diagnoses of cancer and was given a 25% chance of survival. Their infant son Brandon was just barely 9 months old and Robin was informed that if she survived, she would no longer be able to have any more children.

Through it all Robin has maintained her positive mindset, her determination and strength, beating the odds as she was determined not to let her one and only child grow up without a mother the way she did. Believing that things in life happen for a reason, Robin's firm belief in giving back comes from her hard learned life experiences. Robin and her husband Jack have shared 26 adventurous years together which went into an even higher gear on that fateful summer day, August 31, 1997. Being witness to the immediate aftermath of the crash that killed Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed in the Paris tunnel, would throw the Firestones' lives into turmoil following their return home to the U.S. The media onslaught and frenzy was just the beginning of a new period in their lives which set the course for a new personal journey.

Called upon to testify at the Royal Courts of Justice earlier this year as witnesses for the Final Inquest into the death of Princess Diana, would be the culmination of their determination to go on public record as to what they saw. In co-authoring Chasing Diana, with her husband Jack, Robin was able to convey her family's journey resulting from being thrown into the crossroads of an epic event which affected the entire world.

On reflection Robin says, "You never want to believe it was anything more than an accident, but the more we saw, we could not help believe that there's something deeper here. The inquest, the verdict, the book, it's all closure for us. Now we'll just let the reader decide."

During her college years, Robin studied journalism, writing and child psychology. She and her husband Jack have been business partners since 2004. Earlier this year, the couple moved from their home in Long Island, NY to Hilton Head, South Carolina. Now a Southern Belle, Robin is perfecting her new twist on a collard greens recipe for the Jewish High Holidays.

About Jack Firestone:

An executive heading a company which markets personal development products, Jack previously headed a marketing and advertising company in the 1990's, representing various products and services in the infomercial marketplace.

Jack has also enjoyed a colorful and diverse career in the entertainment industry. As a television program syndication executive, Jack was involved in the sales of many perennial hit shows, including: Allen Funt's Candid Camera; Chuck Barris' productions, the New Newlywed Game, New Dating Game and The Gong Show; and TPE's Star Search and Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, among many others.

With producer Michael Kraus, he was the co-creator as well as the syndicator of the TV show, Everyday with Joan Lunden.

Prior to being on the business side of entertainment, Jack pursued an acting career in Los Angeles. Most recently, he starred in an Off-Broadway production in New York in 1995. He's had numerous small roles on many Norman Lear produced sitcoms, such as All In The Family, One Day At a Time and Good Times. Proud of his acting past, Jack sill retains his hard earned memberships in both SAG and AFTRA.

It was during their first family vacation to London and Paris at the end of the summer of 1997 that Jack and his wife Robin were placed front and center at an event which would captivate the entire world - the death of Princess Diana. Fate placed the couple in the Alma Tunnel in Paris just moments following the car crash of Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed. Unwittingly, they became eye-witnesses to the immediate aftermath in those fateful early morning hours of August 31, 1997.

Jack & Robin's world were changed forever with the media frenzy which ensued upon their return home to the U.S. In Chasing Diana, the Firestones have conveyed their journey over the past decade which culminated in their being called to testify at the Final Inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice in London last year.

Jack attended Syracuse University as a Drama student before transferring to New York University, double majoring in the School of the Arts (Film & TV Production/Direction) and the School of Business (Marketing Management) where he received a B.S. degree.

Married for over 26 years to Robin, his childhood sweetheart, the couple has a 23-year-old son, Brandon. Since moving from Long Island, New York to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina earlier this year, the couple are now full-fledged Southerners, having mastered the art of making a killer mint julep that really packs a punch!


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