Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in awkward spat with paparazzi as they make ‘demand’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have entered into a legal row with Backgrid, the photo agency that was allegedly involved in a near-catastrophic car chase in which paparazzi hired by the agency followed the royals following an event in New York.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's lawyers have since demanded that Backgrid hand over any footage of the chase, as they argue this will enable them to improve their security.
A letter from their lawyer, seen by US celebrity news outlet Page Six, reads: "We hereby demand that Backgrid immediately provide us with copies of all photos, videos, and/or films taken last night by the freelance photographers after the couple left their event and over the next several hours."
Lawyers for the photo agency have hit back at these demands, with their own letter, which reads: "In America, as I’m sure you know, property belongs to the owner of it; Third parties cannot just demand it be given to them, as perhaps Kings can do.
"Perhaps you should sit down with your client and advise them that his English rules of royal prerogative to demand that the citizenry hand over their property to the Crown were rejected by this country long ago. We stand by our founding fathers."
OK! has contacted representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
On 19 May, the Sussexes' spokesperson announced that the couple, and Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, were involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase as they were followed by paparazzi while returning home from an awards ceremony.
“Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi,” explained the spokesperson.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers.
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety.
The statement then concluded: "Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”
But the couple's account of what happened in New York has been questioned after others involved spoke out about the incident.
New York police officials have said that they do not believed the chase was "near catastrophic" but did acknowledge it was "a bit of a chaotic scene" in a chat with US broadcaster NBC.
Police sources have also said that the media presence was "not the kind of caravan described by sources close to Harry and Meghan" but it may have been "scary" for those involved, as reported by ABC News.
Meanwhile, Sukhcharn Singh, the taxi driver who picked up Meghan, Harry, Doria and a security guard, told the BBC that claims about the paparazzi chasing them may have been exaggerated as they were not “aggressive”.
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