Meghan Markle SKIPS awards ceremony after car chase controversy
Meghan Markle chose to skip a prestigious ‘women in media’ awards ceremony last night – despite being honored for her podcast Archetypes – just one week after she and Prince Harry sparked global controversy with claims they were involved in a ‘near catastrophic’ car chase.
The 41-year-old Duchess of Sussex – who last week flew to New York to accept a ‘Women of Vision’ award in-person – opted not to show up to the Gracie Awards in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening, despite releasing a statement voicing her ‘honor’ at being chosen as this year’s winner for best Entertainment Podcast Host.
‘Thank you to the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for this prestigious honor,’ Meghan said in a statement released in March after her win was announced.
‘This is a shared success for me and the team behind Archetypes – most of whom are women – and the inspiring guests who joined me each week.’
Meghan Markle chose to skip a ‘women in media’ awards event in LA last night – despite her Archetypes podcast being honored – a week after she appeared at a similar event in New York
The 41-year-old Duchess of Sussex chose not to make an appearance at the Gracie Awards, where she won best Entertainment Podcast Host, one week after she and Prince Harry were embroiled in controversy over claims they were involved in a ‘near catastrophic’ car chase
It was unclear whether Meghan had ever planned to attend the awards gala and an insider at the event told DailyMail.com that organizers were not sure whether she was going to show up even hours before the event was due to start.
‘[Organizers] don’t have any information about whether she is making a last-minute show or not, or even [appearing via] video,’ the source said on Tuesday.
The Gracie Awards Gala – which took place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, about a 90-minute drive from the $14.65 million Montecito home she shares with Prince Harry – is held annually to celebrate ‘outstanding individual achievement and programming by, for and about women at the national level’, its website states.
It is not known why Meghan chose not to attend the Gracie Awards – however the event came exactly one week after she and Prince Harry flew to New York for a similar gala, where the Duchess of Sussex received a ‘women of vision’ award in-person.
At that event, Meghan took to the stage to make a speech, walking up to the podium to the tune of Alicia Keys’ hit Girl on Fire, before retelling a story about enjoying TV dinners and episodes of Jeopardy! when she was a schoolgirl.
However the evening took a turn following the end of the event – when Harry and Meghan, who were accompanied by her mother Doria Ragland, claimed that they were involved in what their spokesperson called a ‘near catastrophic’ car chase with paparazzi.
In an official statement issued on behalf of the couple the day after the event, it was claimed that the Sussexes and Meghan’s mother had been the victims of a ‘relentless pursuit lasting more than two hours’.
‘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 read.
The Gracie Awards are held annually and celebrate ‘outstanding individual achievement and programming by, for and about women at the national level’ (award winners seen on stage)
This year’s ceremony was attended by several celebrities, including Bachelor star Rachel Lindsay (left) and Real Housewives’ Heather Dubrow (right)
‘This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.
‘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.’
However, the couple’s claims were called into question, with several conflicting reports emerging about what had actually happened.
According to US Weekly, the couple were ‘shocked’ by the response to their statement, with a source claiming that the pair ‘insist their account of the car chase was absolutely not exaggerated’ adding that the Sussexes believe it is ‘so hurtful and out of line… for people to say otherwise’.
Interestingly – although Meghan did not attend the Gracie Awards – the insider went on to state that the pair will not be ‘staying out of sight’ and are not ‘scared to show their faces’ at future public events.
‘[This has] just strengthened their resolve to keep standing up for themselves and speaking out when they feel wronged,’ the outlet continued.
The ceremony was held exactly one week after Meghan and Harry flew to New York to attend the Women of Vision awards – after which they said they were the victims of a car chase
The couple’s statement about the car chase came under intense scrutiny last week – with multiple officials speaking out to question their recollection of the event.
Julian Phillips, deputy commissioner of public information in New York, revealed that the NYPD had ‘assisted’ the couple’s private security team – however, while he stated that the behavior of the ‘numerous’ photographers was ‘challenging’, he noted that the couple ‘arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries or arrests in regard.’
New York Mayor Eric Adams expressed empathy and described the actions of the paparazzi as ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’, but added that he would find it ‘hard to believe’ there was a ‘two-hour high-speed chase’.
New York police officials also told NBC that they did not believe the case was ‘near catastrophic’, but ‘a bit of a chaotic scene’.
ABC also reported that it had spoken to several police sources who acknowledged that the experience may have been ‘scary’ for those involved, but said that the media presence was ‘not the kind of caravan described by sources close to Harry and Meghan’.
Others questioned why the couple and their security team chose to go on a one hour and fifteen minute ‘cat and mouse’ ride across Manhattan, which apparently saw them stop off at least twice at a police precinct and flag down a random New York taxi driver to take them home.
Source of data and images: dailymail