Kate and William awarded £92,000 in damages over topless photos in magazine

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A French court today awarded the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge £92,000 compensation for the hurt and upset caused by pictures of Kate topless.

While the amount is one of the highest ever in a privacy case in France, it is a fraction of the £1.4million the couple wanted.

Six defendants were in the dock following five years of legal proceedings, as judges in Nanterre, the western suburb of Paris, ordered French Closer magazine to pay the majority of the £92,000 (€100,000) damages.

Its editor, 51-year-old Laurence Piea, and Ernest Mauria, 71, the director of the Mondadori group which publishes Closer, were fined £42,000 (€45,000 euros) each. Both could have been sent to prison for up to a year, but retained their freedom.

The case dated back to September 2012 when William and Kate were pictured relaxing on the terrace of a chateau belonging to the Earl of Snowdon, William’s cousin and the late Princess Margaret’s son, in the southern region of Provence.

Long-lense cameras caught Kate displaying her breasts while only wearing a skimpy pair of bikini bottoms.

One particularly intimate image showed William rubbing suncream into his wife’s skin, and was said to have caused particular upset.

The angry couple considered £1.4million (€1.5million euro) from French Closer magazine appropriate compensation for the upset and embarrassment caused by the photographs being distributed around the word.

They also want the equivalent of £42,000 (€50,000 euros) from the local newspaper La Provence, which first published pictures of the Duchess in her swimwear five years ago today.

Their barrister, Jean Veil, said it should be paid in addition to ‘significant fines’ to the guilty parties, a mixture of publishing executives and photographers.

Neither of the Royals has attended any of the court sessions over the years, but William has presented statements attacking the paparazzi.

In one written in May, he said the impact of the topless photographs were ‘all the more painful’ given the harassment linked to the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

She died in a car crash in a Paris underpass 20 years ago last week after her drunk chauffer sped away from pursuing photographers.

Agency photographers Cyril Moreau, 32, and Dominique Jacovides, 59, and Valerie Suau, 53, of La Provence, were accused of invading privacy and complicity.

The sixth defendant was Marc Auburtin, the 57-year-old publishing director of La Provence at the time the pictures were taken.

Following their appearance in Closer, the French authorities supported the Royal Family by banning any further reproduction of the pictures, before launching an investigation into how they were obtained.

All of the six defendants said the Royal couple were hypocrites because they regularly allow their private lives to be sold to millions of people around the world.

Paul-Albert Iweins, for Closer, said they were sunbathing in full public view, and that the images showed them ‘in a positive light’.

Today’s judgement, which was handed down by presiding judge Florence Lasserre-Jeannin, came a day after it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her third child.


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