French magazine loses appeal against damages over pictures of topless Kate

France’s Closer magazine has been told it will have to pay damages of 90,000 euros for publishing topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge, after an appeals court upheld an earlier ruling.

The celebrity publication, which is separate from the UK’s Closer magazine, had been ordered to pay the large sum to the Cambridges, during a judgment made last September, for breaching Kate’s privacy.

The judgment followed the trial of six defendants who were all convicted of charges relating to the taking and publication of the photographs of the duchess sunbathing.

The Versailles appeals court upheld last autumn’s decision to fine Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of publishing group Mondadori, which produces Closer, and Laurence Pieau, editor of the magazine in France, the maximum penalty of 45,000 euros for their role in the invasion of privacy.

The decision to fine two photographers, who photographed the duchess, 10,000 euros each was also upheld.

The photos, taken as Kate holidayed with William at a private chateau in Provence, southern France, adorned the front and inside pages of the publication in September 2012.

The publication of the images prompted a fierce reaction at the time, with St James’s Palace stating they were “reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales”.

During the trial, the court was told William found the decision to publish the topless photographs “all the more painful” given the battles of his late mother with the paparazzi.

Kensington Palace declined to comment.

- Press Association

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