The couple’s representative claims that Prince Harry and Meghan were embroiled in a frenzied automobile pursuit with paparazzi on Tuesday night in New York, which might have had “catastrophic” consequences.
Photographers followed the Sussexes and Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, as they left the Women of Vision Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. Their security detail informed CNN that the pair was shook up by the incident, despite the fact that no one was wounded.
Although the Sussexes’ transportation was described by police as “challenging,” no collisions, injuries, or arrests were reported despite the “numerous” photographers present.
The pair claims that their confrontation with the photographers lasted for quite some time and featured many traffic offences. “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,” stated a representative for the pair.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.” Chris Sanchez, a member of the couple’s security team, spoke exclusively to CNN about the incident and described it as frightening.
When asked about it, he stated, “I have never seen, experienced anything like this,” he said. “What we were dealing with was very chaotic. There were about a dozen vehicles: cars, scooters and bicycles.”
He said the Sussexes were terrified on the way back to their apartment but felt much better once inside. The safety of the public was threatened on multiple occasions. Sanchez admitted that the situation could have ended in tragedy.
He elaborated that they had changed vehicles in the middle of the chase. The New York Police Department (NYPD) issued a statement that essentially corroborated the Sussexes’ claim but did so in less sensationalist terms.
The NYPD “assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex” on Tuesday evening, and “there were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” according to Julian Phillips, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of public information.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard,” he said. A representative for the couple told the media that “being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, but it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety” and asked that no photos be released.
One such tweet concerning Harry and Meghan reads is follows:
“Given the methods by which these images were obtained, their widespread distribution promotes an intrusive practice that endangers everyone involved.” The couple’s team claims that a group of about half a dozen blacked-out vehicles, driven by unknown people who posed a threat to the safety of the entire convoy, caused the event.
A law enforcement official in the area told CNN that the couple’s story of being followed by a “swarm” of paparazzi in vehicles, motorbikes, and scooters after they left the event on Tuesday is accurate. According to the insider, a protective crew from the New York Police Department (NYPD) followed Harry and Meghan in another car and had to do some evasive moves to escape the paparazzi.
According to the source, paparazzi on scooters and bikes sped down the sidewalk to keep up. A number of near misses occurred, including brief halt between the front and back of cars, but no collisions occurred, the person said. The couple’s group was able to reunite at a police station, the person said.
CNN was advised by both Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace that neither King Charles nor Prince William will be commenting on the event. The Mayor has criticized the’reckless’ behavior of the photographers. Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, called the behavior “reckless” and “irresponsible.”
“You shouldn’t be speeding anywhere, but this is a densely populated city, and I think all of us, I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how his mom died,” Adams told reporters when asked about the incident at an unrelated briefing.
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“It’s clear that the paparazzi want to get the right shot, they want to get the right story, but public safety must always be at the forefront,” Adams said. The Duke of Sussex has been outspoken about family safety, frequently drawing comparisons between how his wife has been treated and the persecution his mother endured.
The Princess of Wales passed away from injuries sustained in an automobile incident in Paris at high speed in 1997. In the six-part docuseries on the pair that was released on Netflix, Harry responded to claims that he and Meghan have an issue with the paparazzi.
His mother’s generation experienced “physical harassment” from the media, which he described as “cameras in your face, following you, chasing you.” “Paparazzi still harass people,” he added.
“But the harassment really exists more online now. Once the photographs are out and the stories then put next to them, then comes the social media harassment. To see another woman in my life, who I love, go through this feeding frenzy – that’s hard. It is basically the hunter versus the prey.”
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