Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s spokesperson is shutting down speculation that the Sussexes exaggerated their New York City car chase in order to gain 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 tells Page Six, referencing Princess Diana’s fatal car crash with paparazzi in 1997. “Quite frankly, I think that’s abhorrent.”
Harry, 38, and Markle, 41, were involved in a pursuit with paparazzi in the Big Apple on May 16.
Hansen released a statement at the time on behalf of the couple that claimed the chase was “near catastrophic” and lasted over “two hours.”
The description of the incident was met with much skepticism given the well-known nature of traffic jams in Manhattan.
While New York City Mayor Eric Adams denounced the “reckless and irresponsible” chase, a police source previously told The Post that the pursuit “definitely wasn’t two hours” and there were “no collision reports or 911 calls.”
Whoopi Goldberg also cast doubt on the event with her take on “The View.”
“I think people in New York know if it was possible to have car chases in New York, we’d all make it to the theater on time,” the co-host, 67, explained on her talk show.
“I think their spokesperson referenced something that you generally would reference in Los Angeles. That’s where you have chases. That’s where you can move at high speeds.”
Former “Real Housewives of New York City” star Bethenny Frankel — also a longtime resident of the concrete jungle — roasted Harry and Markle over the incident.
“What’s going on?” the Bravolebrity, 52, asked in a video posted on Instagram last Friday. “Is [sic] Mr. Magoo and Elmo who their publicist is? Someone control the beast.”
Even one of Harry’s friends said that the description of the chase was “hysterical.”
“Everyone understands [Harry’s] anger at the photographers,” the anonymous pal explained to the Daily Beast, “but making hysterical statements doesn’t help matters, especially when, as the Queen might have said, recollections may vary.”
Royals fans also want to know:
Despite all of the criticism, Harry and Markle have not rescinded their side of the story. The two have, in fact, requested via their attorney that the photo agency Backgrid hand over footage of the incident in order to further substantiate their claims.
However, Backgrid has emphatically denied the royals’ claim, saying in a statement last week, “According to the photographers present, there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during this incident.
“The photographers have reported feeling that the couple was not in immediate danger at any point.”
The agency also said its hired shutterbugs had no intention of “causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras.”
However, Backgrid concluded, “We do not condone any form of harassment or illegal activity. We are taking Prince Harry’s allegations seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.”