“This is not true,” a rep for the Duke of Sussex, 38, said in a statement to Page Six on Sunday, May 21. The response comes after The Sun reported that Harry would book a private room in luxury hotel San Vicente Bungalows, which he would visit without Meghan, 41.
The outlet also claimed the BetterUp CIO chose a location near the couple’s home in Montecito, California. San Vicente Bungalows is known for prioritizing the privacy of their exclusive guests with rules that include no cameras inside their facilities. The hotel reportedly prohibits guests from sharing their experience or approaching others inside the clubhouse as well.
Harry, who shares son Archie, 4, and daughter Lilibet, 23 months, with the Duchess of Sussex, made headlines earlier this month when the pair confirmed that they were followed by “a ring of highly aggressive” photographers while leaving an event in New York City.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” a spokesperson shared with Us Weekly on Wednesday, May 17, one day after 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. Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.”
In response, the New York Police Department clarified that Harry and Meghan were able to reach their destination safely, sharing in a statement, “There were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests in regard.”
A source exclusively told Us at the time that the duo and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, “were terrified” about how the situation unfolded. “Everyone is still very upset,” the insider shared, adding that their vehicle was “frighteningly pursued” by photographers.
A member of their security detail later claimed the incident could have ended with fatalities.
“I have never seen [or] experienced anything like this. What we were dealing with was very chaotic. There were about a dozen vehicles: cars, scooters and bicycles,” Chris Sanchez told CNN on Wednesday. “The public were in jeopardy at several points. It could have been fatal. They were jumping curbs and red lights. At one point they blocked the limousine [carrying the couple] and started taking pictures until we were able to get out.”
Public figures such as Whoopi Goldberg went on to question the validity of Harry and Meghan’s claims.
“Their spokesperson called it a near catastrophic car chase. Others said it wasn’t bad, but I think people in New York know if it was possible to have car chases in New York, we’d all make it to the theater on time,” the View cohost, 67, joked during an episode of the talk show on Thursday, May 18.
She continued: “I think their spokesperson referenced something that you generally would reference in Los Angeles. That’s where you have chases, that’s where you can move at high speeds. I think they were dealing with aggressive paparazzi, but I don’t think it was where, you know, you’re watching on TV … just watching the cars go … because it just doesn’t work in New York.”