Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were victims of an extended paparazzi car chase last week in New York City, one their spokesperson described as “relentless” and “near catastrophic.” In the days since, some commenters (and some British tabloids, of course) have questioned that narrative, suggesting the couple may have exaggerated what happened.
via: Page Six
The couple are reportedly “shocked” by the response to their “near-catastrophic” car chase in New York City last week, reports Us Weekly.
“They insist their account of the car chase was absolutely not exaggerated, and for people to say otherwise is so hurtful and out of line,” an insider told the magazine.
A rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claims that after Markle was honored at the Women of Vision Awards on May 16, they — along with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland — were recklessly pursued by relentless paparazzi in a chase around Manhattan that was “near-fatal.”
“Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi,” the pair’s rep told Page Six in a statement the following day.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety.”
However, almost immediately there was backlash regarding the veracity of the story.
Even the NYPD pushed back at the florid language used by their publicist.
“There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” a police spokesperson recalled of the ordeal in a statement.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination, and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests in regard.”
The photo agency that had photographers following the couple also denied the allegations.
“According to the photographers present, there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during this incident,” Backgrid USA told Page Six in a statement.
Even Whoopi Goldberg splashed cold water on the fevered allegations.
“… I think people in New York know if it was possible to have car chases in New York, we’d all make it to the theater on time,” she opined on “The View.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s publicist angrily shot down charges that the chase was a publicity stunt.`
“Respectfully, considering the duke’s family history, one would have to think nothing of the couple or anybody associated with them to believe this was any sort of PR stunt,” publicist Ashley Hansen told Page Six, referencing Princess Diana’s fatal car crash with paparazzi in 1997. “Quite frankly, I think that’s abhorrent.”
Despite the backlash, the California-based couple is refusing to be silenced.
“As far as staying out of sight and being scared to show their faces, that’s not going to happen,” the source added. “[This has] just strengthened their resolve to keep standing up for themselves and speaking out when they feel wronged.”