Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were victims of an extended paparazzi car chase last week in New York City, one their spokesperson described as “relentless” and “near catastrophic.” In the days since, some commenters (and some British tabloids, of course) have questioned that narrative, suggesting the couple may have exaggerated what happened. Among the biggest conspiracies was that the chase story was some kind of PR stunt designed to generate public sympathy for the couple.
The New York Times specifically pointed to the fact that a lawyer for Prince Harry had appeared in London court on Tuesday, the same day the chase would happen in New York City, arguing that the duke “should be allowed to challenge a government decision that denied him the right to pay for police protection when he visits the U.K.,” the Associated Press wrote.
Meghan and Harry’s spokesperson Ashley Hansen fired back against the PR stunt claim forcefully in an interview with The New York Times. It is one of the rare occasions that a rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has so bluntly addressed a conspiracy theory.
Hansen said, “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.”
Harry, of course, lost his mother Princess Diana when she was killed in a 1997 car crash where paparazzi had been chasing her own vehicle in Paris. Harry was just 12 years old at the time.
A source told The Sunday Times that Harry had told friends the chase he and Meghan endured is “closest I have ever felt” to understanding what happened the night his mother died.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.