Kate Middleton Nude Photo Scandal: French Court Bars Further Publication of Topless Sunbathing Snaps

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Royal Couple's Legal Battle
Duke and Duchess seek injunction over nude photos. Read More »

The British royal family scored a legal victory Tuesday when a French court ruled Closer cannot further reproduce published photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless.

If the glossy gossip magazine fails to comply, it will be fined $13,000 every time it reprints the revealing images. Furthermore, the magazine — owned by the former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s publishing house, Mondadori, which also ran the snaps in its Italian magazine, Chi — must hand over all digital copies of the semi-nude sunbathing snaps within 24 hours to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. If the outlet does not obey, the ruling could result in punitive fines.

Last week, the royal legal team began proceedings against Closer, calling the printed photos a “grotesque” and “totally unjustifiable” invasion of privacy. During a Monday hearing, the lawyer for Closer, Delphine Pando, argued that the uproar over the pictures was a "disproportionate response" to an "ordinary scene," according to the L.A. Times. The royal couple's lawyer, Aurelien Hammelle, insisted the images were "profoundly intimate" and "shocking."

And Middleton and Prince William are said to be pleased with their legal win. According to BBC, the royal couple held strong to their right to privacy and "always believed the law had been broken."

But there are still more battles over the nude photos to be won in court.

The Duke and Duchess have also filed a criminal complaint under France's privacy laws, under which Closer could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines and its editor could serve up to a year in prison.

They are also pursuing criminal charges against "persons unknown," referring to the as-of-yet unidentified photographer(s), who are reportedly responsible for as many as 200 photos of Middleton sunbathing alongside Prince William, according to TMZ.

Though Tuesday's ruling only bears on French magazine Closer, two other outlets in two different countries — Irish Daily Star and Italian magazine Chi — have also published the photos of Middleton. Out of respect for the palace, no British newspaper has printed the controversial pictures, which caught Middleton sunbathing topless while on vacation with her husband at a private, secluded chateau in the south of France.

As their lawyers fight for them in Europe, the royal couple was thousands of miles away from the scandal in Tuvalu. During the final day of their nine-day Diamond Jubilee tour of South-East Asia, the Duke and Duchess have been relaxing at a private estate on the the Polynesian Island before jetting back to the U.K. tomorrow.

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Kate's Nude Photo Scandal
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