It’s been two weeks since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were chased by paparazzi through the streets of Manhattan.
The couple went public with their account of the incident the following morning, and since then, they’ve been embroiled in a never-ending PR crisis.
Many have cast doubt on Harry and Meghan’s story, with some critics suggesting that the couple exaggerated the severity of the event, and others accusing them of flat-out lying about it.
A third group has alleged that the Sussexes created an emergency by badly mishandling the incident as it unfolded.
The result of all of this skepticism and finger-pointing has been one of the couple’s worst PR crises to date.
Harry and Meghan’s approval ratings have taken a nose dive in the wake of the car chase controversy, but one important figure has come to the couple’s defense — sort of.
Lee Sansum was a bodyguard for Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, and he admits that there’s a lot we don’t know about this situation.
But he says that even if Harry and Meghan’s story is not entirely accurate, it’s worth considering the fact that people like the Sussexes are still hounded by the paparazzi a full 26 years after Diana was killed while fleeing from the press.
“I think really from the information that we’re reading — that is put out by the press and whoever — I think we’re only getting a part of the story,” Sansum told Fox News this week.
“Whether it’s entirely the correct story, it’s a version of the story. But from my experience in the past, the paparazzi, the people taking the photographs… they are so intrusive. And eventually it just breaks you down.”
Sansum says that he frequently became frustrated with the media’s behavior during his time as a bodyguard.
“Initially, you can just can get on with it and you can kind of put up with it. But it’s very oppressive. And eventually, even the coolest of us, you’re just, ‘Enough, man,'” he recalled.
“I find it absolutely crazy that these people are allowed to do this and put the public at risk, chasing people,” Sansum added.
Sansum noted that while Harry and Meghan alleged that they were chased by paparazzi in NYC, at no point did they claim it was a high-speed chase, a detail about which some skeptics seem to be confused.
“We say ‘chasing,’ we assume that they’re going really fast. They don’t have to be going fast, but they’re cutting people off,” he explained.
“They’re advancing through traffic in an aggressive manner to catch a vehicle, to take a photograph that is going to make them money. And it’s putting people at risk.”
So it’s possible that Harry and Meghan felt endangered by a situation that looked perfectly normal to passersby.
The most cynical doubters have claimed that the Sussexes shared an exaggerated story with the world in a desperate plea for sympathy.
The more likely explanation, however, is that these are two are doing their best to prevent another tragedy.