Nearly a week after a rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they were involved in a two-hour car chase with paparazzi, their spokesperson is addressing claims that the incident was 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 P.R. stunt," their rep told the New York Times, referencing the death of Harry's mother Princess Diana, who was killed in a 1997 car crash. "Quite frankly, I think that's abhorrent."
On May 16, Harry, Meghan and her mom Doria Ragland were in New York City to attend the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards, where the duchess was honored.
According to the pair's rep, after leaving the event, the trio were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase" with "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 told E! News May 17. "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 NYPD also addressed the incident involving the royal couple.
"On Wednesday evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex," the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information told E! News. "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."
Over the years, Harry—who, along with Meghan, stepped away from royal life in 2020—has spoken out against the press, even sharing his fear of his mother's fatal history repeating itself with Meghan.
"My job is to keep my family safe," he said in their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan. "But the nature of being born into this position amid everything that comes with it and the level of hate that is being stirred up in the last three years, especially against my wife and my son, I'm generally concerned for the safety of my family."
E! News has reached out to Harry and Meghan's rep for additional comment and has not heard back.