Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are “shocked” at the response to their car chase claims, according to a new report.
“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,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have received plenty of backlash in response to their car chase allegations, but they’re not letting that stop them from talking about it.
“As far as staying out of sight and being scared to show their faces, that’s not going to happen,” the source told the outlet. “[This has] just strengthened their resolve to keep standing up for themselves and speaking out when they feel wronged.”
The couple’s rep also shut down speculation that the crash was exaggerated for publicity.
“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,” publicist Ashley Hansen told Page Six, referencing Princess Diana’s fatal car crash with paparazzi in 1997. “Quite frankly, I think that’s abhorrent.”
Harry and Meghan claimed they were involved in a “near-catastrophic” two-hour paparazzi chase in New York City earlier this month when they were returning from the Women of Vision Awards at the Ziegfeld Ballroom, where Meghan was honored by Gloria Steinem for her advocacy, along with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland.
“It started off with 12 paparazzi, then ended up with four chasing [Meghan, Harry and Doria],” an insider told Page Six. “Their security tried their best to lose [photographers].”
The incident drew many comparisons to the paparazzi car chase that led to Princess Diana being killed in a crash in a Paris tunnel.
Harry, who was 12 years old when his mother died, has been vocal about his feelings toward the paparazzi, and has previously said that he mourns his mother “every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD said the incident was under investigation — but said while the scene was hectic, overall it was under control.
“There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging,” the NYPD said in a statement to The Post. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”
A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry said in a statement that they were involved “in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive 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 spokesperson said. “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.”
Photo agency Backgrid USA has spoken out about the incident, claiming that their photographers “had no intention of causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras.”
“At Backgrid USA Inc., we value transparency and ethics in journalism, which include providing fair and factual responses to claims,” the company said in a statement to ET. “We are aware of Prince Harry’s statement regarding an alleged ‘near catastrophic car chase’ involving himself, Meghan Markle, and her mother.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Post, taxi driver Sukhcharn “Sonny” Singh, who ultimately brought the couple to their destination, said the incident was “pretty crazy” but “it wasn’t scary.”
ET’s source also said that Meghan and Harry “were fearful. Certainly, the memories and echoes of what happened to Harry’s mother was front of mind.”