The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in a cab in New York City for around 10 minutes on Tuesday night as they attempted to elude paparazzi. The cabbie stated the couple was visibly tense throughout the short trip.
Sonny, also known as Sukhcharn Singh, told the BBC that he picked them up from a neighborhood police station in Midtown Manhattan.
A “relentless pursuit” that lasted for more than two hours, according to a statement from Harry and Meghan’s spokeswoman.
However, Mr. Singh, who saw a portion of the action, did not describe his trip as a perilous paparazzi pursuit.
Speaking to reporters while wearing a navy blue shirt outside his family’s Queens residence, Mr. Singh detailed the newsworthy drive.
“I was on 67th Street and then the security guard hailed me. Next thing you know, Prince Harry and his wife were hopping into my cab,” he said.
“We got blocked by a garbage truck, and all of a sudden paparazzi came and started taking pictures.” Harry and Meghan were about to share their destination when the security guard made the call to return to the police precinct.
“They looked nervous, I think they were being chased the whole day or something,” Mr Singh said. “They were pretty nervous, but the security guard, he was on it.”
The spokeswoman for Harry and Meghan claimed in a statement that they were involved in a “near-catastrophic car chase” on Tuesday. While confirming an incident, New York police stated that the large number of photographers “made their transport challenging” and that no collisions or injuries were reported.
It was apparently “very tense” for one of the paparazzi drivers to try to keep up with their automobile during the car pursuit.
Speaking anonymously to ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday, the driver said: “They did a lot of blocking and there was a lot of different types of manoeuvres to stop what was happening.”
He added: “If it was dangerous and catastrophic, it was more than likely based on the person that was driving.”
Photo agency Backgrid USA said it received photos of the event from photographers, “three of whom were in cars and one of whom was riding a bicycle”.
According to the photographers, “there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during this incident,” but the agency said it took Prince Harry’s concerns seriously and will launch its own inquiry.
“It is important to note that these photographers have a professional responsibility to cover newsworthy events and personalities, including public figures such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle,” the agency added.
Along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, the couple was in New York for the Ms Foundation Women of Vision Awards presentation.
The spokesperson claimed that after departing, they attempted to flee the paparazzi by traveling to a Manhattan police station, where Mr. Singh later picked them up.
He didn’t think they were in danger, at least not for the few minutes they were in Mr. Singh’s automobile.
“I don’t think that’s true, I think that’s all exaggerated and stuff like that. Don’t read too much into that,” Mr Singh said of the statement. He later added “that must have happened before” they got in his taxi.
He said, “The safest place to be is in New York City. There is no need to be terrified in New York because there are police stations and officers everywhere.
He said that the photographers weren’t bothering him during his drive.
They were in our rear. They basically just kept on top of us; there wasn’t much else to it. They didn’t approach close.
Mr Singh described Harry and Meghan as “nice people”.
“At the end of the trip, they say, ‘Oh nice meeting you’,” and asked his name, Mr Singh recalled. As his passengers disembarked, the security guard paid and tipped him for the ride.
“It was great. Ten-minute drive, $50,” he said. “What can you ask for? You can’t beat that!”
Was Mr Singh dazzled by his famous passengers? Not particularly.
“I have also picked up Keith Richards in my cab as well,” Mr Singh said. “I pick up celebrities all the time. I didn’t think much of it when they got in, either.”
After briefly conversing with the media, Mr. Singh got back in his yellow taxi and headed to Midtown to begin another exhausting day of passenger transportation.
Source: BBC News, New York