According to a statement released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the couple were involved in a car chase instigated by paparazzi on Tuesday night.

The couple was in New York City for the Ms. Foundation for Women’s annual gala organized by feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Meghan was awarded the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Award during the organization’s 50th celebratio\.

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The couple’s office said Prince Harry and Meghan, in addition to Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, were followed for more than two hours by half a dozen vehicles after leaving the charity event. The couple’s spokesperson also said the chase could have been fatal and involved paparazzi driving on the sidewalk, running red lights, and driving while taking pictures.

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“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,” the statement says. “This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.”

The statement also said the couple understands that “being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety.”

“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved.”

“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 concludes. “Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved.” 

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The news is especially startling given how Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in 1997 as the result of a high-speed car chase initiated by a slow of hounding paparazzi. The Duke has been fervent in denouncing unethical media coverage surrounding him and his wife, calling the British press in particular “malicious” and “relentless” in a 2019 statement.

“My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he wrote. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”