French court orders magazine to pay 100,000 euros over Kate topless pics
A file photo Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, at the memorial garden in Kensington Palace, London.
PARIS: A French court ruled Tuesday that a French celebrity magazine must pay more than 100,000 euros in damages to Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate over topless photos published of the duchess in 2012.
The court also ordered Closer magazine’s editor and owner to each pay 45,000 euros ($53,000) in fines, the maximum possible.
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.
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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 had 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.