Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Blame Paparazzi For ‘Near Catastrophic’ Car Chase, NYPD Says That’s An Overstatement
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” by paparazzi in New York City, his spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who were in the Big Apple attending the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, on Tuesday night, were reportedly followed by “a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” in half a dozen cars with blacked out windows.
While the NYPD confirmed the pair were followed by paparazzi, they did not think it was as serious as the spokesperson.
“There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” Julian Phillips, NYPD’s chief spokesperson, said. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests.”
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The chase took place when Prince Harry and his wife left the event at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan and were on their way to the Upper East Side. Not wanting to give away the location of where they were staying, the pair were trying to lose the paparazzi when the chase escalated. Their spokesperson confirmed that Markle’s mother was also with them during the chase.
Eventually, the Duke and Duchess managed to escape the photogs after changing vehicles.
“I was crossing 67th Street and the security guard hailed me. And the next thing you know Prince Harry and his wife were hopping into my cab,” the taxi driver, Sunny Singh, told CBS New York. “And as we went a block, we got blocked by a garbage truck, and all of a sudden, paparazzis came, and they started taking pictures. And then… they were just about to tell me their location, where they were going to go, but then they told me to circle back to the precinct. So we circled back to the precinct.”
In a statement released shortly after, the photo agency Blackgrid USA confirmed that at least four of the photographers pursuing the couple were freelance contributors to their platform, but adamantly denied the spokesperson’s claims that the chase was aggressive in any way.
“At Backgrid USA Inc., we value transparency and ethics in journalism, which include providing fair and factual responses to claims. We are aware of Prince Harry’s statement regarding an alleged ‘near catastrophic car chase’ involving himself, Meghan Markle, and her mother, in New York City on Tuesday night,” the agency said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
“We want to clarify that we have received photos and videos of last night’s events from four freelance photographers, three of whom were in cars and one of whom was riding a bicycle. It is important to note that these photographers have a professional responsibility to cover newsworthy events and personalities, including public figures such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.”
The agency alleges that the photographers “had no intention of causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras.”
They also claim that “a few of the photos even show Meghan Markle smiling inside a cab,” and that it was Prince Harry’s security team that “was driving in a manner that could be perceived as reckless” rather than the photographers.
Mayor Eric Adams also made brief comments about the incident during a public safety announcement on Wednesday.
“It’s clear that the press, paparazzi, they want to get the right shot, they want to get the right story, but public safety must always be at the forefront,” he said.
“Two of our officers could have been injured,” Adams continued. “New York City is different from a small town somewhere. You shouldn’t be speeding anywhere, but this is a densely populated city… I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how his mom died and it would be horrific to lose innocent bystanders during a chase like this, and something to have happened to them as well, so I think we have to be extremely responsible.”
“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” the mayor added.
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