It has been a whirlwind of conflicting reports since Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson claimed the couple were involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase with “highly aggressive paparazzi” in New York.
Since the statement, police, photographers and even the taxi driver – who was thrust into the middle of a media storm when he picked up the couple in his yellow cab – have had their say.
Here Sky News breaks down what has been said so far…
Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s spokesperson released a statement on Wednesday, saying they had been involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase that was caused by “highly aggressive paparazzi” on Tuesday evening.
The incident took place as Harry and Meghan, and her mother Doria Ragland, left the Ms Foundation for Women’s annual gala at the Ziegfeld Ballroom, where Meghan picked up an award.
The couple’s spokesperson said the “relentless pursuit” lasted more than two hours and “resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers”.
Press secretary for the Sussexes, Ashley Hansen, later exclusively told Sky’s Mark Stone: “I have never experienced their vulnerability as much as I did last night. They were incredibly scared and shaken up.”
Police in New York
According to police, one NYPD vehicle escorted their car across 57th Street and other streets for around one hour and 15 minutes, in a bid to lose pursuers.
The Sussexes and Ms Ragland were driven to the NYPD’s 19th precinct building and stayed there for around 15 minutes.
The couple then got into a different car and got to their residence without being followed. But police appeared to downplay the severity of the “car chase”, which they described as “a bit chaotic”.
Julian Phillips, the deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department, said: “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.”
What Harry has said about paparazzi before
‘Impossible not to be reminded of Diana’
Video of couple before ‘car chase’
New York’s Mayor
New York’s Mayor Eric Adams said: “The press or paparazzi, you know, they want to get the right shot, they want to get the right story.
“But public safety must always be at the forefront. In a briefing I received [I heard] two of our officers could have been injured… I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mum died.
Mr Adams added he believes the behaviour of those following the Sussexes was “reckless and irresponsible”.
Taxi driver who picked up the Sussexes
Sukhcharn Singh, a taxi driver who picked up the Sussexes outside the 19th precinct, told The Washington Post: “I don’t think I would call it a chase.”
He said he picked up the couple and Ms Ragland at 11pm and they were in his car for around 10 minutes.
“I never felt like I was in danger,” Mr Singh said. “It wasn’t like a car chase in a movie. They were quiet and seemed scared but it’s New York – it’s safe.”
Mr Singh said he got the impression from the Sussexes that they had already been pursued by paparazzi before they got in his car.
Eyewitness who said paparazzi were ‘aggressive’
Zara Sayeed saw the pair arrive and depart from the awards ceremony. She said: “The way I saw them [the paparazzi] follow the car – I wasn’t surprised by the headlines.
“As they [the Sussexes] were leaving, just the way they chased the car, it just reminds me of all the other scenes we have seen in the past with Prince Harry’s mother.
‘It was really upsetting. It was triggering for me – I can’t imagine how it must have felt for them.”
The response from the paparazzi
A paparazzi driver reportedly involved in the incident admitted it was “very tense” attempting to keep up with the couple – but blamed the “catastrophic experience” on the couple’s driver.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “They did a lot of blocking and there was a lot of different type of manoeuvres to stop what was happening.
Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts
“Their driver was making it a catastrophic experience… if they were going 80mph, I would probably have been going 20mph behind them and hoping to keep sight of them,
“So if it was dangerous and catastrophic, it was more than likely based on the person that was driving.”
In other developments, a celebrity news agency that filmed Harry and Meghan up close has also disputed their version of events – and claimed it was actually an SUV in the couple’s security detail that was driving recklessly.
A statement from Backgrid said it had received footage from four freelance photographers who had no intention of causing distress or harm – and several pictures showed Meghan smiling inside the taxi.
This story originally appeared on Skynews