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Harry and Meghan’s taxi driver during paparazzi ‘chase’ speaks out

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed they were involved in a “near catastrophic” pursuit through New York after attending an awards event.

The taxi driver who drove Harry and Meghan through New York City during a car chase has spoken out.

Sukhcharn Singh, who drove the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on part of their journey on Tuesday evening, said they were followed by paparazzi – but didn’t agree with the couple’s assessment that it was “near catastrophic”.

Meanwhile, a paparazzi driver reportedly involved in the incident admitted it was “very tense” attempting to keep up with the couple.

However, he blamed Harry and Meghan’s driver for making the pursuit “a catastrophic experience”. It is not clear which driver he was referring to.

It comes after the couple’s press secretary Ashley Hansen exclusively told Sky’s Mark Stone: “I have never experienced their vulnerability as much as I did last night. They were incredibly scared and shaken up.”

Ms Hansen also said the police had to confront photographers and ask for space on multiple occasions – but “that wish was not respected”.

Speaking to NBC News about the couple’s description of the situation, Mr Singh had said: “I think that’s all you know, exaggerated and stuff like that. So don’t read too much into that, you know.

“New York City is the safest place to be. There’s police stations, there’s cops on every corner, so there’s no reason to be afraid in New York.”

Mr Singh has said he never felt like he was in danger – and shrugged off suggestions that it was like a car chase you would see in the movies.

Omid Scobie, the author of a biography on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, told the BBC: “When you read the statement you assume it’s some sort of Fast and the Furious situation in the middle of New York City, which we know crawls at a snail’s pace.

“It was sort of a game of cat and mouse, sometimes their car sat in traffic surrounded by photographers on bikes and cars behind them, and then there were moments when the road was clear and the car went up to 80 mph trying to lose some of the people that were following them.”

Mr Singh went on to reveal that the couple tipped him $50 (£40) for the 10-minute drive – adding that the pair “seemed nervous” while they were in his car.

One paparazzi driver reportedly involved in the incident told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that it was “very tense” trying to keep up with their vehicle.

However, the driver, speaking anonymously, claimed it was Harry and Meghan’s driver who had made the pursuit a “catastrophic experience”.

“They did a lot of blocking and there was a lot of different types of manoeuvres to stop what was happening,” he said.

“Their driver was making it a catastrophic experience… if they were going 80mph, I would probably have been going 20mph behind them and hoping to keep sight of them,

“So if it was dangerous and catastrophic, it was more than likely based on the person that was driving.”

A celebrity news agency that filmed Harry and Meghan up close has also disputed their version of events – and claimed it was actually an SUV in the couple’s security detail that was driving recklessly.

A statement from Backgrid said it had received footage from four freelance photographers who had no intention of causing distress or harm – and several pictures showed Meghan smiling inside the taxi.

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