Photographer and Editor Charged Over Topless Kate Middleton Photos


An unnamed photographer and the editor of a French celebrity gossip magazine have been charged with privacy violations for publishing topless photos of new royal mom Kate Middleton (now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), and more charges are likely to follow.

Judicial sources in Paris said an unnamed 28-year-old agency photographer has been charged, and another was likely to be, along with editor of Closer magazine Laurence Pieau. They join magazine publisher Ernesto Mauri and a photographer believed to be La Provence shooter Valerie Suau, who were charged in April.

The incident happened last summer, when Middleton and husband Prince William were vacationing in Provence. The Closer photographers, allegedly assisted by Suau, managed to get a view of the royals sunbathing on the terrace of their vacation château, capturing several shots where Middleton is topless.

The images were published in the Sept. 5, 2012 edition of the magazine, and attracted widespread outrage and condemnation.

Aurelien Hamelle, the French lawyer representing the royals, pressed charges over what he called a “grotesque breach of privacy,” and the wheels of French justice have ground slowly onward ever since.

Maximum penalties under France’s strict privacy laws include fines of up to 45,000 Euros (almost $60,000 U.S.) each, a year in jail and closure of the magazine for up to five years.

Defenses offered by Suau and the attorneys representing the magazine include: (1) topless photos aren’t all that shocking anymore, (2) the photos were taken from public property offering clear views of the château, and (3) there were no English or French police posted in the area, creating a tacit invitation for paparazzi to go to work.

(via The Telegraph)

Image credit: Prince William & Kate Middleton by UK_repsome

  • Carsten Schlipf

    “(2) the photos were taken from public property offering clear views of the château”

    I would say, ‘clear view’ depends on the focal length. If the shot requires 400mm or more it’s everything else than a clear view for a human eye.

  • George

    They’re part of the Royal Family, shouldn’t they know better not to go sunbathing half naked outside? Not saying what the paparazzi did was morally acceptable, but if they were shooting from public property and had a clear view, I would say that’s the Royal Family’s mistake.

  • hawk1500

    Yes, the Royal Family is so stupid. Why can’t they just go sunbathing inside?

  • af

    well true, but it is the price you pay when your no different than anyone else but due to inheritance your “royalty” and think your better than just about everyone else except god.

  • hawk1500

    why do you say they think they are better than everyone else?

  • af

    Well actually maybe it’s everyone else who thinks they’re better than everyone else. Either way I’m not sure how i see it’s deserved for any real reason.

    Sort of like pop stars.. often they’re just famous for being famous.

  • Dikaiosune01

    Agreed. They are all bullpoop defenses. (1) it is irrelevant. (2) depends on focal length and position of the photographer – ie. on the top of a tree. (3) stupid logic.
    And let’s not forget that this is France where privacy laws allows the subject to remain the owner of their own represented image, regardless of the image taken.
    The bottom line is that, this photographer (using the term loosely) got the money shot and now doesn’t want to be punished for his actions. It doesn’t change the relevant facts. Did he take the picture? Published in any form of media? Does the subject not like how he or she is represented? Yes, Yes and Yea.

  • I see France

    Ok, that’s great, now where is the photo link????????????

  • Christian DeBaun

    I would usually side with the photographers, but this is the sort of behavior that resulted in Princess Diana’s death. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

    I know, I’m not making a fair comparison – but there you have it.

  • matt jones

    the more used to it we get the less important these photographs become, everyone googles “kate middleton topless” you take a look, she looks fine, then you move on. Who cares, set the photographer free.

  • Adam Correia

    I don’t care who it is, whether she is topless or not, but if she was in clear view, she is fair game. This lawsuit is bogus and this photographer was only doing his job. Don’t get me wrong, there are many photographers out there doing this and pushing boundaries and blatantly breaking the law and they should be punished. To me, this reads because she is part of the royal family, they get special treatment and are trying to shut down the photographer and magazine for THEIR mistake. Don’t want nude pictures, don’t be nude in public. That goes for anyone!

  • Igor Ken