Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were placed in a compromising scenario Tuesday, May 16, after the couple was chased by paparazzi. The incident left the duo and Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, "terrified." Since the news broke, critics have begun to question the ethics of the publications that published the images and the photo company that made it accessible to news outlets.
Backgrid — a celebrity news agency — released a statement on Thursday, May 18, addressing the backlash. The company revealed they "had no intention of causing any distress or harm, as their only tool was their cameras."
The organization later explained the role photographers have in their business. "At Backgrid USA Inc., we value transparency and ethics in journalism, which include providing fair and factual responses to claims," Backgrid said in a statement. "We are aware of Prince Harry’s statement regarding an alleged 'near catastrophic car chase' involving himself, Meghan Markle, and her mother, in New York City on Tuesday night."
"We want to clarify that we have received photos and videos of last night’s events from four freelance photographers, three of whom were in cars and one of whom was riding a bicycle," they continued. "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."
Reporter Omid Scobie discussed the incident with Twitter followers Wednesday, May 17, before Backgrid commented on it. "Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Doria Ragland were involved in a terrifying paparazzi car chase involving six blacked-out vehicles in a chase that could have been fatal," Scobie wrote. "Despite being confronted by uniformed police multiple times, the paparazzi’s cars continued their pursuit in trying to follow the Sussexes and Doria to the private residence they were staying at." "Traffic violations by the drivers include driving on a sidewalk, going through red lights, reversing down a one-way street, driving while photographing and illegally blocking a moving vehicle," he clarified.
Backgrid spoke to Entertainment Tonight.