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Prince William and Kate Middleton Win Topless Photo Lawsuit against “Closer”
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Prince William and Kate Middleton. Photo courtesy of Closer Weekly.

Summary: Prince William and Kate Middleton won their invasion of privacy lawsuit against two French publications. 

In 2012, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton were vacationing in the south of France and decided to act like the locals and sunbathe. However, the Royals had no idea that paparazzi were documenting their days in the sun until topless photos of the princess appeared in the French tabloid, Closer. Horrified by the invasion of privacy, William and Kate sued, and recently, they won their legal battle, forcing Closer to pony up over one million dollars in damages.


Closer was ordered to pay the British royal company an amount equivalent to $1.6 million, according to Inquistr. This amount is less than what prosecutors had originally sought for, but it is a win nevertheless.  

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge filed a lawsuit against six individuals affiliated with the tabloid, and the case was tried in a Paris-area criminal court. The couple claimed invasion of privacy after Closer published photos of Kate sunbathing at a private chateau. The photos were shot using a telephoto lens while the princess was relaxing on a terrace.

The published images were eventually banned in France, but they spread to other European publications and online. The royal couple had sued Closer for originally publishing the topless pictures as well as a second regional newspaper.

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According to CBS News, the win is one of the highest damage awards in French history for invasion of privacy. In addition to the magazine’s judgment, the court ordered Closer’s editor and owner to pay $53,000 each of their personal funds. The two faced up to one year in jail but were not sentenced that punishment. Two photographers in the case were hit with lesser fines, according to Reuters. 

CBS News noted that during the May 2017 hearing, Prince William said in a document that the intruding photographs were painful especially because of how his mother, Princess Diana had died. Twenty years ago, the beloved royal was killed during a car accident involving paparazzi, and her death caused the world to mourn and Europe to reconsider the extent of how photographers are allowed to get their money shots.

In Europe, invasion of privacy cases is treated more severely than they are in the United States, where plaintiffs must prove malice to win cases against the media. In Europe, cases can be tried in criminal court and punishments tend to be more severe.

Inquisitr stated that Kate Middleton and Prince William did not attend any of the court proceedings. They are more than likely busy as Kate Middleton is pregnant with the couple’s third child. According to Express, Middleton is suffering from extreme morning sickness, an ailment that she experienced with her previous pregnancies.

Prince William said that Middleton’s condition has caused celebration of the pregnancy to be put on hold until Kate starts to feel better.

“We need Catherine to get over this first bit and then we can start celebrating. It’s always a bit anxious to start with, but she’s well,” Prince William said.

What do you think of the Royal couple’s win against Closer? Let us know in the comments below.



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