About a week after French magazine Closer published the first paparazzi photos of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, topless as she sunbathed in the nude with her husband Prince William in Provence, France, a court in France has ruled that Closer must stop publication of the photos both in print and online, they must hand over the original photos to Kate and Wills and they must pay a penalty fine. As you may know, on the same day that Closer first published the photos, the British Royal Family launched a lawsuit against the mag to have the photos pulled … and clearly they have won with this ruling.
A French magazine has been fined for publishing topless photographs of Britain’s likely future queen, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and ordered not to distribute the magazine in print or online, a French court ruled Tuesday. The court ordered Closer magazine to hand over the original photos to the royal family within 24 hours of the ruling and to pay them 2,000 euros (about $2,600). The magazine must pay a further 10,000 euros a day if it is late in handing over the photos. And a French prosecutor opened a preliminary criminal investigation into the incident, the Nanterre prosecutor’s office said Tuesday. Catherine and her husband, Prince William, the second in line to the throne, “welcome the injunction that’s been granted. They always believed the law was broken and that they were entitled to their privacy,” the palace said. French law provides for “draconian sanctions” to protect against invasions of privacy, British lawyer Charlotte Harris said, including orders to take magazines off shelves and the imposition of serious fines. Separately, the board of a newspaper that published the topless photos is conducting an internal investigation. The board of the Irish Daily Star was considering shutting down the newspaper but decided to await the investigation results, which are expected in “a few weeks.” After the Irish Daily Star published the photos Saturday, one of the newspaper’s editors was suspended, pending the investigation. The royal family filed a criminal complaint seeking invasion of privacy charges against Closer and possibly the photographer, a palace spokeswoman said. The photos of Catherine sunbathing are more about invasion of privacy rather than nudity, royal biographer Christopher Andersen said.
So, while Kate wins her case in France, she still has to deal with the publication of the photos in Italy. As you may recall, we learned yesterday that Italian magazine Chi published a series of the photos this week. It’s unclear if the Italian court system will rule in Kate’s favor but with her win in France, I think precedent has been set there to avoid future instances like this. But, the truth remains, once naked photos of anyone make their way online, they will live on forever. Still, I’m sure the British Royal Family is celebrating this win today. I’m sure they are hoping to secure future wins as well.