SHARE
COPY LINK

ROYAL

French magazine must pay 190,000 euros over Kate Middleton topless pics

A French court ruled Tuesday that a French celebrity magazine must pay 100,000 euros in damages to Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate over topless photos of the duchess published in 2012.

French magazine must pay 190,000 euros over Kate Middleton topless pics
AFP
 
The court also ordered Closer magazine's editor Laurence Pieau and publisher Ernesto Mauri to each pay 45,000 euros ($53,000) in fines, the maximum possible.
   
The couple had sought 1.5 million euros in damages and interest.
   
Closer magazine's lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins said he was “pleased” with the ruling on the damages to pay, but said the fine was “exaggerated for a simple private matter.”
   
For his part, the royal couple's lawyer Jean Veil declined to comment, adding that Kensington Palace would make a statement.
 
READ ALSO:

AFP  
   
The grainy snaps of Kate Middleton sunbathing in a bikini bottom were taken while she was on holiday in September 2012 in the south of France with her husband, the second in line to the British throne.
   
The couple were snapped with a long lens relaxing by a pool at a chateau belonging to Viscount Linley, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth.
   
The pictures triggered a furious reaction from the royal family in Britain, where several newspapers rejected an offer to buy the pictures.
   
Closer, a glossy gossip magazine, was the first to splash them on its cover, and they were later reproduced in several other European publications, including Chi in Italy and Ireland's Daily Star.
   
The royals — who announced Monday they are expecting a third child — filed a criminal complaint for invasion of privacy and obtained an injunction preventing further use of the images.
   
In a letter read out in court, William said the case reminded him of the paparazzi hounding of his mother, princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris 20 years ago.
   
Two Paris-based agency photographers,  were each given fines of 10,000 euros, with 5,000 euros suspended.
 
'Positive image'
 
The prosecution had called for “very heavy” fines for the editor of the French Closer and Mondadori France, which is part of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's media empire.
   
The royals had joined the case as civil plaintiffs.
   
During the trial, Closer's lawyers argued that the pictures were in the public interest and conveyed a “positive image” of the royals.
   
The court also ordered the magazine to hand over the files with the images to the royal couple.
   
They learned of their impending publication while on an Asia-Pacific tour to mark the diamond jubilee of William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

TOPLESS

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos

Six reporters, photographers and media chiefs are to be tried in France for invasion of privacy over topless photos of Britain's Duchess of Cambridge published in 2012, judicial sources said Tuesday.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

Six reporters, photographers and media chiefs are to be tried in France for invasion of privacy over topless photos of Britain's Duchess of Cambridge published in 2012, judicial sources said Tuesday.

The snaps of Kate, the wife of Prince William, were taken with a long lens and showed her topless on a balcony of a private residence in the south of France during a holiday with her husband.

The photos, which first appeared in French celebrity magazine Closer in September 2012, sparking fury from the British royal family and reviving a debate on press intrusion into the private lives of celebrities.

Closer's chief editor, the head of the Mondadori press group which owns the magazine, two photographers of a Parisian agency and a photographer and a senior figure at regional daily La Provence will now have to answer in court over the publication of the intimate photos, under a July magistrate's order.

The pictures in question first appeared on the front page of the regional daily in southern France on September 7, 2012, before Closer gave them a wider audience a week later.

The directors of La Provence have denied that one of their photographers took the offending pictures.

The topless images were later published elsewhere in Europe, notably in Chi magazine, also owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mondadori media group, as well as in Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Sweden.

The royal couple had lodged a complaint over the pictures.

The royal family's lawyers obtained a civil injunction and sought criminal charges in Paris in a bid to curb the spread of the pictures.

The pictures revived debate about invasions of privacy by the press and brought echoes of the hounding by paparazzi endured by William's mother, Princess Diana, who died in Paris in 1997 after the car she was in crashed while fleeing scooter-riding photographers.

The French trial for the Kate photos will be held some time next year.

SHOW COMMENTS