Kate Middleton Nude Photo Scandal: Editor of 'Irish Daily Star' Resigns Over Topless Duchess of Cambridge Coverage

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The editor of the Irish Daily Star newspaper who made the decision to publish topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge has resigned from his post.

Michael O'Kane -- who was suspended from his post in September while an internal investigation was carried out -- stepped down on Saturday, his employee confirmed via a statement.

O'Kane faced international backlash after he published contentious paparazzi pictures of the duchess and Prince William sunbathing on a private holiday in France.

"As a result of the publication on 15 September 2012, issues arose with the shareholders of Independent Star Limited," the Dublin-based newspaper confirmed.

"Having considered those issues in tandem with Mr O'Kane, it is Mr O'Kane's decision to resign as editor of the Irish Daily Star, effective immediately."

Before O'Kane's decision to fall on his sword, the co-owner of the paper, media tycoon Richard Desmond, had threatened to shut it down.

The Irish Daily Star re-published the photographs after they appeared in French celebrity gossip magazine Closer.

The pictures were used by publications in France, Italy, the Irish Republic, Sweden and Denmark. No British newspaper printed them, amid the outrage from Buckingham Palace.

The royal couple commenced legal proceedings in France soon after Closer hit newsstands.

“Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner,” a spokesperson said.

“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so.”

“Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”

Closer's editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau has long defended her decision to publish the what she thought was a “beautiful series” of photos that showed a couple in love.

“There’s been an over-reaction to these photos. What we see is a young couple, who just got married, who are very much in love, who are splendid,” Pieau said of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s intimate snapshots.

“She’s a real 21st century princess,” she added. “It’s a young woman who is topless, the same as you can see on any beach in France or around the world.”

Watch Pieau's justification in full -- in the video, below.

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