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The NYPD Calls Bullshit on Harry & Meghan's 'Near-Catastrophic' 2-Hour Chase to Escape the Paparazzi

James Devaney. Getty Images.

There are few things that we can all agree on in our increasingly polarized world. And one of those things, a widespread belief that is held with near unanimity, is that paparazzi are terrible. Bottom feeders of the lowest order. Sucker fish, clinging to the underbelly of the accomplished and feeding off the talent of others. In a just world, there'd be a bounty on their heads so hunters would thin their herd. 

And so when a married couple who've been among the most talked about people on the planet over the last half decade say they were harassed by the paps, the public is naturally going to take their side. And when the husband involved lost his uber-famous mother in a horrific car crash while being chased by these leeches, that's going to engender all the sympathy in the world:

But then again, this is Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Who, to put it politely, have had a somewhat casual relationship with the truth over the years. Or at the very least, haven't been quite as concerned about truth as they have been at making themselves out to be both the victims and heroes in every story they tell. From his book to her podcast to the Netflix documentary they did together, they haven't let facts get in the way of a good story. 

And to hear the NYPD tell it, this one is no exception:

Source - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle raised alarms Wednesday about a “near catastrophic,” more than two-hour paparazzi chase through Manhattan — drawing comparisons to Princess Diana’s fatal 1997 crash — even as cops said the supposed ordeal wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the couple claimed.

The high-profile yet photo-shy pair said via their rep they were subjected to a “relentless pursuit” by “a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi … lasting over two hours [which] resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” the spokesperson said. …

While the NYPD said the incident was under investigation, police also played down the couple’s high-drama claims, describing a somewhat hectic yet overall controlled scene.

“The NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” a spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “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 in regard.”

A high-ranking source added that there were “no collision reports or 911 calls” and that the chase “definitely wasn’t two hours.” …

“The public was in jeopardy at several points,” [security guard Chris] Sanchez said. “It could have been fatal. “I have never seen, experienced anything like this.” …

Police sources, however, stressed that “at no time was there a high-speed chase” though two wheels of one vehicle did jump a curb at one point and two uniformed officers reported being “nearly missed” as the paparazzi took off.

And here's more:

I say again, we can all agree paparazzi are a scourge. A virus infecting the body of society that needs to be eraticated. One witness in the article claimed Harry and Meghan's security detail was taunting them during the four hours they stood outside the building, and for that they are to be applauded for doing the work of the angels. 

But nowhere in that narrative do the Duke and Duchess get to just make up a story about high speed chases lasting two hours through a crowded city with 10 billion intersections guarded by traffic lights you need two cycles to get through. Plus stop signs. Crosswalks. Streets congested with delivery trucks, utility workers, emergency vehicles, other cabs. And besides that, Manhattan itself is 13 miles long. Where did they go for two hours? Hop over to Long Island like George Costanza when he was trying convince his fiance's parents he had a place in the Hamptons and they called his bluff? 

Besides, you don't have to take the police account of what happened. It wasn't hard to track down the actual driver of the cab:

Does this strike you as a guy who's PTSD from the recent trauma of taking his passengers on a near-fatal chase where they barely escaped with their lives? Good on the Duke of Sussex that he tipped the guy a 50 for his troubles. But knock off the bullshit. 

And here's the really enraging thing about it. They didn't have to lie. Or exaggerate. Or even embellish a little. Just tell the actual story the way it happened. "We were in town to collect some award or other. These photographers were being annoying assholes. Aren't they the worst? Like seriously, don't you hate those scumbags? My family will never get over what they did to us." And you come away with unanimous, unambiguous support. But they couldn't take the W. They had to create this fiction about imminent danger, lives being risked, a Fast and the Furious chase scene lasting two straight hours, with everything but the cab clipping a fruit stand as it took a turn on two wheels. 

In choosing to straight up lie, all they did was confirm what South Park said about them.