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Court rules Kate Middleton topless pictures must be handed to her within 24 hours.

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Topless images of Kate Middleton first appeared in France's Closer magazine.
Topless images of Kate Middleton first appeared in France's Closer magazine.

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A royal victory…

A French court has rules this morning that topless pictures of Kate Middleton must be handed to her and Prince William within 24 hours.  The ruling mandated that Closer magazine who first published the images be forbidden from from distributing, selling, or printing the compromising shots. The court has also required that the pictures be taken down from the magazine’s website.

The court also ruled that Closer magazine would also be fined $13 000 every time it republished or distributed said offending images. At the time when the pictures first appeared the royal couple were shocked and bitterly disappointed insisting that the publishing of said photos was a ‘grotesque’ invasion of their privacy.

For their part, Closer magazine had argued through their lawyer, Delphine Pando that the controversy over the pictures was ”disproportionate’ to an ‘ordinary scene.’ Of course one wonders if Ms Pando would feel the same if it was her or someone in her family who’s private parts were splashed on a major tabloid cover during a time which was suppose to be private and off limits to the press.

Aurelien Hammelle who represented the royal couple in court insisted that the pictures were ‘profoundly intimate’ and ‘shocking’ and had no place being in the public realm. She went on further to note that the photos had been taken on Sept. 5, almost 15 years to the day that William’s mother, Princess Diana, had died in a “morbid, cynical and pointless chase” by paparazzi in Paris. Something which surely must have weighed on the court’s conscience and reminded it the ill will it risked causing the royal family if it once again relented.

The royal couple also filed a criminal complaint under France’s privacy laws which could see Closer mag fined tens of thousands of dollars and its editor in chief, Laurence Pieau serve up to a year in prison. A sentence that the photographer who took the images also now risks facing.To date the identity of the photographer has not been publicly disseminated but it is widely thought that it might be Valerie Suau who at the time had images of Kate Middleton wearing a bikini sold to La Provence, a regional journal.

Offered Hammelle:  “In the name of what did Closer publish these ‘shock’ photos? Certainly not in the name of information,”  

“The Duchess of Cambridge is a young woman, not an object … and I ask you to put yourself in the place of her husband, Prince William, … and the place of her parents.” 

Certainly not an object but then again isn’t that what most figure heads and celebrities and people of note have begun to morph into for most tabloids? Objects of convenience to be regarded with little regard for their good will to sell papers or should we the tabloid industry be crying foul that we are now being denied our fundamental right to express and hold up to the public issues that ought to be discussed, but then again what’s being served by discussing the size of Kate Middleton’s breasts….?

To date three publications in three different countries have published the photos of Middleton, 30, but today’s ruling affects only Closer.

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