A representative for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has hit out at claims that their recent “near catastrophic car chase” was a publicity stunt.
The former royal couple recently detailed their harrowing “near catastrophic car chase” with New York paparazzi on Tuesday, May 1,
At the time, a spokesperson for the pair claimed that the couple were leaving the Women of Vision Awards, when “numerous” photographers made the journey “challenging”.
The pair claims that the altercation was “relentless” and “aggressive,” which left them shaken.
“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 couple’s spokesperson said.
“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.”
Questions were quickly raised about the incident with several challenging the couple’s version of events, something the pair’s publicist Ashley Hansen labelled “abhorrent”.
“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,” Hansen told Page Six.
“Quite frankly, I think that’s abhorrent.”
Among those who made the “abhorrent” suggestions to which Hansen refers was British media personality Piers Morgan who recently took the couple to task over their claims.
“It’s not accurate. They didn’t have a two-hour (car chase),” he claimed.
“So, their statement is untrue, and they say ‘near catastrophic’, but actually there was no collision with anybody, nobody got hurt, it’s not a catastrophe, it’s not a near catastrophe.
“What it is, is them being pursued by paparazzi.”
Recollections may vary when it comes to Harry and Meghan’s “near-catastrophic” car chase…
Have they misled the public? Tune in at 8pm.@piersmorgan | @TalkTV | #PMU pic.twitter.com/lMaSsrmV81
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) May 18, 2023
Morgan claimed, given the couple’s recent behaviour in the media spotlight, that incidents such as these “come with the territory”.
“They’ve sold their private lives to the highest bidder now for the last two or three years,” he said.
“If you want to play that game and work the media that hard, for personal gain, for money, for profile, then this comes with the territory.”
Morgan isn’t the only one to question Harry and Meghan’s claims with a police source telling ABC News that the event was not as dire as the Sussexes’ described it.
The source says the chase had far fewer paparazzi than what the Sussexes’ spokesperson claims, and that the interaction would not have been more than 20 minutes.