The fallout from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent harrowing car chase in New York City, involving aggressive paparazzi, has been a bitter pill to swallow for the couple. According to a close source, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are disheartened by the severe criticism of their recounting of the incident.
The royal couple experienced what they describe as a "near disastrous car chase" by an intrusive band of paparazzi on Tuesday evening, May 16, following their departure from the 2023 Women of Vision Awards. The backlash they've faced over their portrayal of the event has reportedly left them stunned.
The insider quoted in a news article expressed the couple's distress: "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."
Despite the harsh responses, the source pointed out that Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, have no intention of backing down. The experience, they claimed, has only fortified the couple's commitment to asserting themselves and speaking out against perceived injustice.
In the aftermath of the chase, the couple's spokesperson released a statement detailing the "relentless pursuit," alleging it lasted "over two hours," resulted in near-misses with other vehicles, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers. However, the statement drew skepticism from various quarters, including the New York City governor, celebrities, and the police.
NYPD issued a statement that seemed to contradict the couple's account, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard." One officer bluntly refuted their story, calling it "bogus."
NYC Mayor Eric Adams expressed doubt, saying it would be hard to believe a two-hour high-speed chase took place in the city. Celebrity voices, including Whoopi Goldberg and Bethenny Frankel, also questioned the couple's account, pointing out the busy Manhattan traffic and the rarity of similar incidents involving other major stars.
The couple's representative has since responded to these criticisms in an attempt to quell the controversy. The representative remarked, "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 P.R. stunt. Quite frankly, I think that's abhorrent." The statement referred to the tragic death of Harry's mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.