Harry And Meghan's Terrifying Paparazzi Car Chase Made Worse By Stalker Arrest

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle faced one scary situation after another this week. 

Per Page Six, Harry, Meghan, and Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother, were followed by the paparazzi in their car on May 16 during an outing in New York City. A source told the news site this encounter turned "near-fatal" as a paparazzo nearly collided with a vehicle and a police officer narrowly escaped being hit by a car. Harry and Meghan's representative told Page Six in response to the incident, "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." 

Additionally, on May 17, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Office said to TMZ that a man who had been allegedly stalking the couple was arrested. This came after Harry and Meghan's security told the authorities that the man was close by Harry and Meghan's home in Montecito. Though Harry and Meghan have a history of handling the attention of life in the public eye, these incidents top the list among their most terrifying encounters with fame.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are safe after being chased by the paparazzi

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been met with the frightening realities of living under the media spotlight. Since their dangerous May 2023 paparazzi car chase, it's been revealed that the pair were luckily not hurt. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard," NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Julian Phillips said to The Hollywood Reporter

Previously, Meghan opened up about adjusting to life with an intense paparazzi presence during the Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan," People wrote in 2022. As Meghan was shooting "Suits" in Toronto and the news of her and Harry's relationship became known, the paparazzi persistently tried to get photos of her in public and at home. She said this included approaching Meghan's neighbors for help setting up cameras on Meghan's property. "Suddenly, it was like everything about my life got so much more insular. All the curtains were pulled, all the blinds were pulled. It was scary," Meghan stated. As Harry and Meghan's relationship has continued, the two have made moves to prevent others from invading their personal lives.

Meghan Markle has spoken about her and Prince Harry's 'basic right to privacy'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been vocal about wanting to be left alone by the paparazzi. When they were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Meghan detailed how celebrities should be allowed privacy. "I think everyone has a basic right to privacy. Basic. We're not talking about anything that anybody else wouldn't expect," Meghan said, per OprahDaily.com. She stated, "There's no one who's on Instagram or social media that would say, 'Because I shared this one picture, that entitles you to have my entire camera roll.' ... So it's about boundaries. And it's about respect."

Harry and Meghan have taken legal action against the media in the past. Per Reuters, by May 2023 at least seven lawsuits had been initiated by Harry and Meghan against news outlets. For example, it was announced by The Guardian in 2020 that, following legal action from Harry and Meghan, Splash News and Picture Agency would no longer take photos of Harry, Meghan, and their son. This came after the news outlet snapped images of the family while they were on a walk. "This settlement is a clear signal that unlawful, invasive, and intrusive paparazzi behavior will not be tolerated and that the couple takes these matters seriously — just as any family would," Harry and Meghan's representative said. Harry previously expressed his worries over the paparazzi's treatment of Meghan.

Prince Harry said 'history was repeating itself' regarding the media's behavior toward Meghan Markle

The way the media has approached Meghan Markle has been worrisome for Prince Harry. Per Oprah Daily, Harry's mom, Princess Diana, her partner, Emad "Dodi" Fayed, and the couple's driver, Henri Paul, tragically died in a 1997 car accident. Paparazzi members were reportedly following Diana at the time, sources who were at the scene said. 

Back in 2017, Harry reflected on this saddening loss. "I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that the people that chased her through into the tunnel were the same people that were taking photographs of her, while she was still dying in the back seat of the car," Harry said in a heartbreaking interview for the 2017 documentary "Diana, 7 Days," per Sky News.

 In the 2021 docuseries "The Me You Can't See," per People, Harry expressed concern that "history was repeating itself" in regards to how the media was treating Meghan. He then added, "It's incredibly triggering to potentially lose another woman in my life, but the list is growing. And it all comes back to the same people, the same business model, the same industry."