Harry & Meghan in a ‘Near-Catastrophic’ Car Chase in NYC, According to Spokesperson
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were chased for nearly two hours by paparazzi through the streets of New York City last night, according to a release from their spokesperson. The “relentless pursuit” apparently resulted in several “near-collusions” with other vehicles, pedestrians, and objects. Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, was also in the car with them at the time. It seems that everyone is now physically safe. The couple’s two children, Archie and Lilibet, were not in the car at the time of the pursuit. Though, earlier this week, in a separate incident, a man was arrested after loitering outside their California home.
The family had made a rare sojourn to New York for the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision's 50th anniversary gala event held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan. Markle was one of the evening’s honorees, and was lauded in a speech by the group’s co-founder, Gloria Steinem. Although the couple posed for photos on the red carpet, following the event “a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” tailed their car, according to the statement. According to People, the family was headed back to stay at the private residence of a friend.
“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,” said their spokesperson, per the BBC.
The Sussexes are also speaking out ahead of any images from the chase being released to the public. “Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved.”
According to royal expert Omid Scobie’s Twitter, The Daily Mail has briefly published photos of the incident online this morning, but has now taken then down. Prince Harry is one of six claimants currently sueing the Mail’s parent company, and made a surprise appearance in a London courtroom back in March. Harry’s co-claimants include Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost.
New York City Mayor Erik Adams also weighed in on the situation this morning. “It’s clear that the press, the paparazzi, they want to get the right shot,” the Mayor said during an unrelated press conference, according to the New York Times. “But public safety must always be at the forefront.” However, the mayor publicly cast doubt on one detail of the Sussex’s version of events. “I would find it hard to believe that there was a two-hour high speed chase.” Adams, who has developed a reputation for talking off the cuff, however also said he had not yet been fully briefed on the situation.
The New York Police Department has also released a statement:
"On Wednesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard."
Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, died in a car crash after being chased by the paparazzi in Paris, and the Prince has spoken openly about his fears of his own young family being put in a similar position.
Meanwhile, according to TMZ, 29-year-old Kevin Garcia Valdovinos was arrested on misdemeanor stalking charges on Monday night after being spotted outside the couple’s home in Montecito, California by security. The man was booked under a law which would indicate this was not his first time being spotted near the property.
This is a developing story, and we will update when more information becomes available.
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