Celebrity News May 18, 2023
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle: Conflicting Reports About Their Car Chase in NYC
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle claim they were in a “near catastrophic car chase” with paparazzi in NYC on Tuesday night, but some witnesses disagree.
Harry’s spokesperson called the pursuit “relentless” and claimed there were near collisions involving “other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.”
Is it a royal exaggeration or something in-between?
“Extra’s” Billy Bush spoke with Ken Wharfe, who provided protection to Princess Diana and wrote the book “Guarding Diana: Protecting the Princess Around the World.”
He shared, “What alarmed me when I saw the original footage was the sort of confusion where they were leaving the hotel, you know? There's nothing that seemed to be sort of managed about that departure, which released… warning bells that something was going to go wrong here.”
Meanwhile, one photographer in the center of the controversy is speaking out to “Good Morning Britain.”
The man, who didn’t want to show his face, said Harry and Meghan’s driver “made the situation extra tense.” When asked by a reporter if that person was driving “dangerously,” the photographer answered, “Yes,” recalling zigzagging, cutting off, squeezing, wedging, and getting “super close to the cars.”
Backgrid USA, a photo agency, also released a statement obtained by “Extra," saying there was "no intention to cause distress to harm."
TMZ reports that Harry and Meghan later asked Backgrid for their photos and footage but the agency refused. Backgrid's lawyer reportedly told them, "In America, as I'm sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it: Third parties cannot just demand it be given to them, as perhaps Kings can do."
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle in ‘Near Catastrophic Car Chase’ with PaparazziView Story
In Backgrid's earlier statement to "Extra," the agency said, “We value transparency and ethics in journalism, which include providing fair and factual responses to claims.”
The company added that they received photos from three freelancers in cars and one who was riding a bike. They were there to cover Harry and Meghan’s stay in NYC and “had no intention of causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras. A few of the photos even show Meghan Markle smiling inside a cab.”
The statement continued, “The photographers report that one of the four SUVs from Prince Harry's security escort was driving in a manner that could be perceived as reckless. The vehicle was seen blocking off streets, and in one video, it is shown being pulled over by the police.”
While Backgrid says they understand the security team “had a job to do,” the agency noted, “According to the photographers present, there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during this incident. The photographers have reported feeling that the couple was not in immediate danger at any point.”
The statement concluded, “At Backgrid USA Inc., we do not condone any form of harassment or illegal activity. We are taking Prince Harry's allegations seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.”
Some reports say Harry and Meghan tried to play cat and mouse with the paparazzi from the beginning, arriving at the event where she was honored through what they thought would be a secret entrance.
They tried to dodge photographers again, getting into a taxi during the alleged chase. The driver spoke out about that he witnessed.
The Associated Press asked if the paparazzi was being aggressive. He replied, “No, no, no, no. They were behind us. I mean, they stayed on top of us. That was pretty much it. There was nothing more, you know, they kept their distance. It's just like journalists. It's like everybody else trying to get pictures, make a quick buck.”
Did the Duke and Duchess of Sussex look nervous? He admitted, “They did seem nervous, yeah.”