The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they were involved in a 'near catastrophic' event.
In the wake of what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle called a "near catastrophic car chase" on the streets of New York City on Tuesday night, the New York Police Department has issued a statement on its involvement.
"On [Tuesday] evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex," the statement from Julian Phillips, Deputy Commissioner, Public Information, reads.
"There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging," the statement, obtained by ET, continues. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests in regard."
On Wednesday, a representative for the couple told ET that they, along with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, had been pursued by "aggressive paparazzi" for more than two hours after leaving the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City. The trio had been in attendance for the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards earlier that evening, where Meghan was honored by Gloria Steinem with the foundation's Woman of Vision Award.
"Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi," a spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan said in a statement to ET on Wednesday.
"This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers," the statement continued. "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. Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved."
Harry's mother, Princess Diana, died after a car crash involving paparazzi in Paris, France, on Aug. 31, 1997. She was 36.
A New York-based photographer, who did not want to be named but was among the paparazzi following Harry and Meghan's car on Tuesday, tells ET that it is customary to follow cars with celebrities in NYC, but high-speed chases are not common due to the nature of the city streets and dense traffic.
Additionally, the photographer notes, many paps opt to use bicycles or vespas because they move faster than the cars.
The photographer claims that while paparazzi were following Harry and Meghan's car, "multiple illegal moves" by Harry and Meghan's driver were unnecessary and not at all customary with what other celebrities typically do in New York.
Meanwhile, a rep for Prince Harry, who is the son of King Charles III and the late Princess Diana, and Meghan tells ET that there was no film crew tagging along with the couple at the time of the incident, adding that they have footage of everything from their own iPhones.
"I can guarantee you that the photogs' recollections are absolutely false," the spokesperson says. "Even the mayor has confirmed how reckless it was."
For his part, Mayor Eric Adams spoke out on the situation during a public safety announcement while referencing the memory of Princess Diana's tragic death.
"It's clear that the press, paparazzi, they want to get the right shot, they want to get the right story, but public safety must always be at the forefront," he said, adding of Harry: "I don't think there's many of us, who don't recall how his mom died."
"And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well," Adams continued. "So I think we have to be extremely responsible. I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible."