Last Tuesday night, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were chased by paparazzi through the streets of Manhattan.
A driver for the couple reportedly spent two hours attempting to evade the overzealous photographers before dropping off Harry and Meghan safely at their destination.
The following morning, a rep for Harry issued a statement alleging that the chase had resulted in several near-accidents and almost ended in “catastrophe.”
It was an appeal for sympathy from a man whose mother was killed while fleeing paparazzi — and it may have been the biggest PR misstep of Harry’s career.
In the week since the statement was issued, critics have repeatedly cast doubt on Harry and Meghan’s story.
Some believe the Sussexes have exaggerated the severity of the situation, while others have accused them of flat-out lying.
Multiple security professionals and NYC-based celebs have even accused Harry and Meghan of making the situation more dangerous by mishandling it.
Now, onlookers who were on hand that night have come forward with a new brand of criticism.
The chase took place after Harry and Meghan left the annual Ms. Foundation gala, where she received the organization’s prestigious Woman of Vision Award.
It was a memorable night for the couple, and it should come as no surprise that they were happy to pose for a few pics on the way to their car.
But some witnesses believe that doing so was an act of hypocrisy that might have spurred the paparazzi to tail the Sussexes’ car.
According to Page Six, these critics point out that Harry and Meghan hired a former Obama security staffer named Chris Sanchez, who is known in certain circles as “king of the back exits.”
They cite this as evidence that the Sussexes could have exited the venue quietly if they had so desired.
The fact that they didn’t, critics allege, is proof that Harry and Meghan desire a perfect balance between fame and privacy — something that’s just not possible to achieve in 2023.
One insider says that Harry and Meghan offered those photos to the crowd outside of the Ziegfield Theater as a sort of compromise — they believed that if they posed for pics, they would not be followed by the paps.
“Harry and Meghan were willing to give everyone those shots when they left the event, that was not the problem, but they were tailed from that point on,” says the source.
A rep for Harry and Meghan does not deny that the couple made themselves available to photojournalists who had gathered between the theater and their car.
“They were some of the most beautiful images of the evening,” says Ashley Hansen.
New York mayor Eric Adams has vowed to thoroughly investigate the incident.
Still, it might be quite some time before we figure out what really happened.
As TMZ points out, the chase lasted between 20 minutes and two hours, depending on your source.
And it looks neither side is willing to compromise on their version of events.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as new information becomes available.