Online Community Divided Over Prince Harry, Meghan Markle's Paparazzi Chase: Critics and Supporters Speak Out
The incident involving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's reported "near catastrophic" car chase with paparazzi has ignited an online debate, with users expressing their divergent views on the matter.
The couple released a statement on Wednesday describing the high-speed chase, which they said occurred Tuesday night following their attendance at the Women of Vision Awards where Markle was recognized. Their representative labeled the chase as a distressing two-hour ordeal.
Contrarily, a photographer present during the alleged chase countered their account, referring to it as "crazy hyperbole" in a conversation with People. Adding to the contrasting narratives, the taxi driver involved in the incident told The Washington Post that he didn't perceive the situation as dangerous or akin to a chase.
Online reactions to these conflicting accounts have been polarized. Some social media users were critical of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. "If it was that bad, they would have stopped their car. They are so desperate for attention," one user remarked. Another wrote, "They're in the business of creating sensationalism now, and it's always about Princess Diana's death." There was also a suggestion for the couple to return to England for safety reasons.
However, other netizens rallied to defend the Sussexes, questioning the credibility of the photographer's account and highlighting that the paparazzi were indeed pursuing the couple. A user noted, "Also, the 'witnesses' People are citing were PHOTOGRAPHERS. The cabbie ran to Piers Morgan and even he, while downplaying danger, describes a long pursuit and surprise photographers and 'craziness.'" Another retorted, "'Witnesses' is doing some heavy lifting here. Those same 'witnesses' were the same photographers relentlessly pursuing them per your own article."
The New York Police Department (NYPD) also released a statement to People in which they confirmed their role in assisting Prince Harry and Markle's security team due to the challenges posed by the "numerous photographers." They, however, noted that the incident didn't result in any collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination, and there were no reported...injuries, or arrests in regard," the NYPD stated.
This paparazzi chase saga has further stoked discussions on celebrity privacy and the role of the paparazzi, with the digital community standing divided on their views.