Skeptics who include New York City Mayor Eric Adams are throwing doubt on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s account of Tuesday night’s “highly aggressive” two-hour paparazzi car chase that, they said, left them fearing for their lives and that of Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.
An official statement from the NYPD downplayed the May 16 incident, saying merely that “numerous photographers… made their transport challenging,” but emphasized, “there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests.”
However, a duty officer at NYPD’s 18th precinct, who declined to be named, told TheWrap, “Nothing happened. It’s a bogus story. Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.” The 18th precinct is at 306 West 54th Street, the closest to where the chase took place.
When asked about the length of the chase, Mayor Adams told reporters that he was still being briefed on the incident, but said, “I would find it hard to believe there was a two-hour high-speed chase.” He added that even if it was a 10-minute chase, it would still be “extremely dangerous in New York City.”
The full statement from Julian Phillips, deputy commissioner of public information for the NYPD, stated, “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.”
A New York-based publicist, who wished to remain anonymous, told TheWrap on Wednesday, “I have never seen a paparazzi chase like they described — and I am certain there must be footage if it’s true from traffic cams, NYPD body cams and their own cameras.” She added she thought that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have “credibility issues.”
She wasn’t alone in mentioning the unusual circumstances of the chase, as described in Harry and Meghan’s statement. An avowed “Sussex Squad” Twitter user shared, “I’ve lived in NYC for two decades. We don’t have Diana-level harassment paparazzi here at all,” she wrote. Instead of doubting the account, though, she added, “This is a coordinated hit squad that was out to set off a dire catastrophe for Harry, Meghan, and Doria. Whomever set this up deserves exposing.”