French court upholds fine over Kate’s topless photos

A French court Wednesday dismissed an appeal by editors of gossip magazine Closer, and upheld two €45,000 (R782,760) fines for publishing pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless.

The court upheld the maximum fines imposed by a lower court for invading the privacy of Prince William’s wife Kate with its 2012 publication.

Closer published the grainy snaps of Kate wearing only bikini bottoms while on holiday with the prince at a chateau in the Luberon region of southeastern France in September 2012.

The pictures caused outrage among the British royal family and public.

In a letter read out in court in May last year, William said the case had brought back painful memories of the paparazzi hounding his mother, the late princess Diana who was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997 while being pursued by photographers.

Lawyers for Closer editor Laurence Pieau and publisher Ernesto Mauri argued that the pictures of the royals were in the public interest and conveyed a “positive image” of the royals.

Pieau and Mauri were each fined €45,000 (R782,760) last year.

The court of appeal in Versailles, west of Paris, also upheld the fines handed to the two photographers suspected of taking the shots.

They were ordered to pay €5,000 (R87,000) each, and warned of additional €5,000 fines if they reoffended.

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