'Closer' fined for publishing topless pictures of Duchess
A French court has ordered 'Closer' magazine in France to pay €100,000 in civil damages and a further €90,000 in fines for publishing topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge while on holiday in Provence in 2012.
The civil damages were far lower than the €1.5m the Duke and Duchess had asked for but their lawyer, Jean Veil, said they were "twice as high as normal in such a case".
In the criminal case, Laurence Pieau, the editor of 'Closer' in France, and Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of the Mondadori group which owns the magazine, were both handed the maximum fines of €45,000 for invasion of privacy.
Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, two Paris-based agency photographers suspected of having taken the topless photographs, were fined €10,000 each, with half suspended.
A week before Closer published the shots, another image of the couple from a different angle - and not topless - was printed in 'La Provence', a regional daily.
The court ordered 'La Provence' to pay €3,000 in damages and its publishing director at the time, Marc Auburtin, and photographer Valerie Suau were ordered to pay suspended fines of €1,500 and €1,000.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on the terrace of a private château in Provence owned by Viscount Linley, the queen's nephew, when they were photographed in September 2012. One of the most intimate shots showed the Duchess of Cambridge topless and having sun cream rubbed into her by Prince William.
The verdict comes just after the 20th anniversary of the death in Paris of Diana, Princess of Wales. During the trial, a statement from the Duke was read to the court in which he said the photos brought back painful memories of the "harassment" his mother had endured by paparazzi.
The judgment came just one day after it was announced Kate and William are expecting their third child together.