Last night, after attending the Ms. Foundation’s Women of Vision gala, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say they were in “a near-catastrophic car chase.”
A spokesperson for the couple tells Vogue that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with the duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, were aggressively and dangerously hounded by a group of paparazzi. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near-collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers,” the couple states. “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.”
The Sussexes, who were staying at a residential home within the city, feared for both their well-being as well as the safety of their friend’s dwelling.
Prior to the incident, the couple exited and entered the charity event publicly, where photographers were allowed to take pictures.
The New York City Police Department’s deputy commissioner for Public Information, Julian Phillips, confirms the following to Vogue: “On Tuesday 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.”
The Duke and Duchess’s statement comes as Prince Harry’s lawsuit against The Mirror, The Sunday Mirror, and The Sunday People—which alleges violation of privacy rights and illicit information gathering—goes into trial in London. He is expected to testify in early June.
Harry has been outspoken about the invasive—and often dangerous—treatment they have been given by the press. In 2019, after announcing the Duchess of Sussex’s decision to seek legal action against The Mail on Sunday, the Prince evoked his late mother Princess Diana, admitting that his “deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.” Diana died in 1997 after an intoxicated driver crashed the car she was travelling in, during a high-speed chase in a Paris tunnel away from paparazzi.
This story has been updated to include statements from the NYPD.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.