Court stops more Kate photos
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 7:14a.m.
By Thomas Adamson
A French court ordered a magazine publisher to hand over all digital copies of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge within 24 hours and blocked further publication of what it called a "brutal display" of William and Kate's private moments.
Under the ruling Tuesday, the publisher of the French gossip magazine Closer faces a daily fine of €10,000 if it fails to hand over the photos featured in Friday's "world exclusive" issue of Prince William's wife Kate. The photos were taken without authorization during the royals' vacation at a private residence in southern France.
The court also handed out an injunction to stop Closer France from republishing the offending pictures - including on its website and its tablet app - as well as re-selling them.
A statement Tuesday from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said they "welcome the judge's ruling". Maud Sobel, a lawyer for the royal couple, described it as "a wonderful decision."
"We've been vindicated," Sobel said.
Although the decision was seen as a victory for the royals, it only affects the 14 partially clad snapshots of Kate that were in Friday's edition. It's unclear if Closer France possesses more pictures - but if they did they could technically go on and publish them, as the ruling has no power over that.
In any case, if the royal family had hoped to block international publication, it's already too late. An Italian publication Chi, published dozens even more racy photos of the duchess in a 26-page spread. An Irish newspaper editor, meanwhile, was suspended after he chose to publish some of the topless photos in the Independent Star.
Tuesday's ruling only affects the French magazine branch of Mondadori, Closer's publisher, which also faces a €2,000 fine.
"These snapshots which showed the intimacy of a couple, partially naked on the terrace of a private home, surrounded by a park several hundred metres from a public road, and being able to legitimately assume that they are protected from passers-by, are by nature particularly intrusive," the French ruling decreed. "(They) were thus subjected to this brutal display the moment the cover appeared."
The photos showed Kate relaxing at a private villa in Provence, in southern France, sometimes without her bikini top and, in one case, her suit bottom partially pulled down to apply sunscreen.
The case is the first of two parallel legal actions by the British royals. In a reflection of just how intent they are on protecting their privacy - and likely dissuading paparazzi from future ventures - St James's Palace said family lawyers would be filing a criminal complaint against `x' - the unnamed photographer who took the pictures.
The criminal lawsuit is thought to be aimed at flushing out the mystery photographer's name and - by targeting the source - allow the royal couple to stop the photos spreading further around the world. If the criminal case goes ahead, `x' could face a large fine and up to one year in prison.
Christopher Mesnooh, an American lawyer who works in Paris, said French law strongly protects privacy rights but tabloids have their own reasons for publication, even when they might violate the law.
"It appears to give satisfaction entirely to the royal couple," Mesnooh said of Tuesday's ruling.
But he added the amount of damages is nowhere near enough to dissuade the publication of similar photos.
"Damages are no more than €50,000 under French law... If you sell 100,000 copies, you're ahead of the game," he noted.
The ruling listed the royal couple by their full names: William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
19/09/2012 1:27:40 p.m.
Good I am so glad for them. They can't even live like normal humans without it being plastered all over the papers. I hope the photographer hides, the nosey so and so. He might have to give back the big cheque he got paid for the photo I imagine. Poor Kate is getting hassled like Diana was. Media have a lot to answer for in this world.
19/09/2012 11:01:02 a.m.
Unless a person is posing for the likes of playboy etc (i.e. fully consensual) there is absolutely no reason for the publishing of photos such as these. The argument of public interest is completely invalid. Everyone is entitled to privacy, even those in the public eye (including royalty, actors etc).
I believe in freedom of speech, and the rights of the press to publish news, but images such as these cannot be viewed as news. They had requested privacy for their honeymoon and it was not an unreasonable request.
We would be up in arms, and said photographer would be facing charges, if someone took revealing photos of us through a bedroom window. Why do paparazzi get a free path simply because the person is well known publicly?
19/09/2012 10:01:38 a.m.
Michel Gourd wrote:
All Kate Middleton photos must be returned ASAP!
St James's Palace is suing French magazine Closer for breach of privacy over the publication of topless photos of the duchess! The royal family legal action over media coverage is surprising. In normal time, Royals crave for photos that are their direct link to the taxpayer who pays a big part of the lavish lifestyle they have.
It's hard to feel sympathy for the Duchess of Cambridge being pictured topless in a French gossip magazine. This is not the first time a member of the Royal Family has been photographed undress. Remember Prince Edward’s wife, the Duchess of York, Princess Diana or Prince Harry? They were all being pictured topless or naked. Why Kate did not sees it might be unwise for a future Queen to sunbathe in this terrace? Remember the couple was visible from the road. Royals should not be notice when they walk naked. This is their true nature.
The problem is, like movies stars, royals live and die by their popularity rating. They want everybody to see them at weddings and party. The editor of Closer could be a victim, not an aggressor. Laurence Pieau is use to work with rich and famous people craving for publicity but the beautiful an in love couple in the south of France was Royals, not movies stars.
Sending the cops to paparazzi can make Royals less desirable picture subject. If Royals make the police arrest reporters, they will not be there to take pictures of their beautiful lifestyle! Will British taxpayers, who pay for this legal battle, accept to continue to spend tens of millions of pounds each year for people who are royal pain?
So, all Kate Middleton photos must be returned to royals ASAP! All newspapers of the world should voluntarily follow the French court order and hand Kate Middleton photos over to the royal couple. All pictures must be returned without exception. Medias should also be fined 10,000 euros per day of delay. This will remember them to never take a picture of a British Royal family member again.
There's still no word from the Government on when stalled shipments of meat will...
GlaxoSmithKline has joined forces with aid agency Save the Children to provide a...
A series of scandals is threatening to derail US president Barack Obama's second...
The United States' Obama administration denounced Russia on Friday for providing...
A former politician says that police brutality in South Africa is as bad now as ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.