Back in 2012, French magazine Closer and local newspaper La Provence published photos of the Kate Middleton sunbathing topless with Prince William at a chateau in the city of love, which were taken using telephoto (long-range) lenses.
Closer’s headline translated to “Oh My God: the photos that will go around the world.” Sure enough, the infamous photos spread to other European publications. Soon after, William and Kate immediately sued Closer’s editor and owner as well as the photographers who took the pictures — who were part of a celebrity photo agency — for violation of privacy.
Five years later, they’ve now been awarded 100,000 euros (RM506,140) in damages by a French court, which is significantly less than the 1.5 million euros they asked for. The owner and editor of Closer were each fined 45,000 euros (RM227,763) —the maximum fine— and 50,000 euros (RM253,070) from the executives and photographers.
The judge also instructed regional newspaper La Provence, which printed the images of Kate in her swimwear, to pay 3,000 euros (RM15,186) in damages. All six defendants, including the photographers, were convicted of charges relating to the publication of the photos.
Closer’s lawyer, Paul-Albert Iweins, argued at a hearing in May that “the public and private lives of the royal couple are so closely linked as to be inseparable” and “it’s of public interest to know that future heirs to the throne have a solid relationship and are getting on well.” For real though?
During the same hearing, Prince William said the scandal was “particularly shocking because it reminded us of the harassment that led to the death of my mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.” (Princess Diana died in a car accident after her vehicle was chased by photographers in Paris.)
The court’s ruling comes one day after the royal pair announced baby #3 is on the way. This oughta help cover that kid’s college tuition fees!