Kate Middleton Nude Photo Scandal: ‘The Devil Is in the Details,’ Says HLN Host Jane Velez-Mitchell (VIDEO)

Kate Middleton has been at the center of controversy over the past week after several European publications went to press with semi-nude snaps of the royal sunbathing while on vacation with husband Prince William at a private chateau in the south of France.

Now as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s legal team continues to fight to bar further dissemination of the revealing images, one question is on everyone’s mind: Was this an exploitation of Kate Middleton’s privacy? Or were these pictures fair game?

“I go back and forth and back and forth on this,” said HLN host Jane Velez-Mitchell, after addressing questions in Celebuzz’s #AskJane video feature. “On the one hand, she is a beautiful young woman who is newly married who wants to be able to be a human being, not some kind of cardboard cutout [or]…some sort of walking press release.”

But is it realistic to think that a royal could ever have complete privacy?

“Ever so often, human beings have to do human things like take off their top and give their hubby a little massage with some suntan lotion,” Velez-Mitchell mused. “Where’s the harm in it?”

But “I think it is naïve to think that anybody in the royal family,” she continued, “especially somebody as pretty [and] young as she is, can take their top off and that every photographer…in the world isn’t going to try to take that photo.”

The royal lawyers, however, is taking aim at both the publications and the unidentified paparazzi, after what St. James’s Palace called a “grotesque” and “totally unjustifiable” invasion of Middleton’s privacy. And on Tuesday, the royal couple won their first legal victory when a French court ruled that Closer — the first outlet to print the topless photos — was prohibited from any further dissemination of the images of the Duchess. The publication was also required to relinquish all digital copies of the snaps to the royals within 24 hours, and failure to comply carried the promise of a fine.

Still, Velez-Mitchell argued that their social stature may preclude any real privacy. “There is a naïveté in her thinking that she had privacy,” she explained.

But “the question is,” she added, “were [the photographers] really on public property as [they] claim? That’s their explanation, that, hey, they’re on a public road, too bad. But I got to wonder, I think the devil is in the details here. How can far can than telephoto reach? Can it really go as far as it had to go to be on public property at the time that photo, which wasn’t that blurry, was snapped?”

While those elusive details remain unresolved, Velez-Mitchell thinks the always-watched Duke and Duchess should take precaution to protect themselves. “You’re the royals,” she claimed. “You’ve got to find a way, with satellites and telephoto lenses, to take off that top and not get snapped.”

Do you think Middleton’s privacy was breached? Weigh in below.

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