Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were “quite nervous” when they were chased by paparazzi in New York, according to an Indian-American taxi driver who drove them about 10 minutes after picking them up at a Manhattan police station.
Sukhcharn Singh, the driver who drove briefly with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Tuesday night when they were followed by photographers in their car, said he recognized his passengers immediately.
“I was on 67th Street and then the guard greeted me. Next thing you know, Prince Harry and his wife got into my taxi,” he said.
“We were blocked by a garbage truck and suddenly paparazzi came and started taking pictures,” he said.
Singh said Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, were about to give him their location but told him to go back to the police station.
“They were nice people, they looked nervous. I think they were chased all day or something. They were quite nervous,” Singh told Sky News.
In a statement, Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson said on Wednesday that the couple had experienced a “near catastrophic chase” on Tuesday.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) later said they helped the private security team protect the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“There were plenty of photographers who made their transportation challenging,” he said.
However, police said the pair “arrived at their destination and no hit-and-runs, subpoenas, injuries or arrests have been reported.” Harry and Meghan attended an awards ceremony in New York – the Ms Foundation Women of Vision Awards – along with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.
When they were chased after leaving the event, the spokesperson said, the pair tried to evade the paparazzi by going to a Manhattan police station – where Singh picked them up.
Singh laughed when asked if it was a “near catastrophic chase”.
“I don’t think that’s true, it’s an exaggeration. Don’t read too much about that,’ he said.
When asked if he felt he or his passengers were in danger, he said, “No, New York City is the safest place to be,” adding that there are police officers on every corner.
“So you don’t have to be afraid in New York,” he added. Singh picked up Harry, Meghan, her mother and a security guard outside the New York City Police Department’s 19th precinct around 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to a report in The Washington Post newspaper.
The report quoted him as saying he drove them for a short period during which they were chased by other vehicles.
“Singh estimated the entire journey took 10 minutes, and said he got the impression from the group that they were already being chased by paparazzi before he got into his car,” the report said.
Singh said they were chased by two vehicles: a black Honda Accord and an older gray Honda CR-V.
“They kept following us and got next to the car. They took pictures as we stopped and filmed us,” he said.
Singh said the guard was concerned about the photographers and asked him to return to the police station.
The guard thought they were too exposed and didn’t want their location shared more widely, he said.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the incident “reckless and irresponsible”.
Adams, responding to a question about the incident during an announcement about fighting shoplifting in New York City, said Wednesday that while the press and paparazzi want to get the right shot and story, public safety should always be at the forefront. to stand.
Adams said two NYPD officers may have been injured in the chase.
“New York City is unlike a small town anywhere. You shouldn’t be speeding anywhere but this is a populous city and I think all of us I don’t think there are many of us who don’t remember how his mother died and it would be terrible to kill an innocent lose a bystander during a chase like this and something happened to them too.
“So I think we have to be extremely responsible. I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” the mayor said in a statement.
Relentlessly pursued by paparazzi, Harry’s mother Princess Diana and her partner Dodi Fayed, an Egyptian film producer and son of billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, died when their car crashed into a Paris underpass in August 1997.
Responding to the couple’s spokesman’s claim that the chase lasted two hours, Adams said he would “find it hard to believe there was a two-hour high-speed chase” in a city as busy and crowded as New York.
“I find it hard to believe, but we will find out the exact duration of it. But if it’s 10 minutes, a 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous in New York City. We have a lot of traffic, a lot of movement, a lot of people using our streets,” he said.
He said any form of high speed pursuit involving anything of that nature is inappropriate. “Police do it under limited circumstances when they go after violent people, but if you do it because you want to get the right shot, it can turn out to be a place where people can be harmed in a real way,” he said.
The statement from Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson said that while “being a public figure brings with it a degree of public interest, it should never be at the expense of anyone’s safety.” “Distribution of these images, given the manner in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous for all concerned,” the report said.
Pictures have appeared on social media of Harry, Meghan and her mother Ragland in a taxi.
Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020 and moved to the United States, in part because of what they described as intense media harassment.
The prince has long spoken out about his anger at press intrusion which he blames for the death of his mother Princess Diana, who was killed when her limousine crashed as it drove away from chasing paparazzi in Paris in 1997. PTI YAS MRJ AKJ MRJ
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