French celebrity magazine, Closer has been ordered to pay £92,000 in damages to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for publishing topless photos of Kate Middleton.
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.
According to reports, long-lense cameras caught Kate displaying her breasts while only wearing a skimpy pair of bikini bottoms. One intimate picture also published showed William rubbing suncream into his wife’s skin.
It was also reported that the angry couple considered £1.4million from French Closer magazine appropriate compensation for the upset and embarrassment caused by the photographs being distributed around the world.
They also want the equivalent of £42,000 from the local newspaper La Provence, which first published pictures of the Duchess in her swimwear five years ago today.
But after five years of legal proceedings, judges in Nanterre, the western suburb of Paris, ordered the Closer magazine today to pay the majority of the £92,000 damages while six the defendants were in the dock.
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 of whom could have been jailed for up to a year, but retained their freedom.
The fine is said to be one of the highest ever in a privacy case in France
Although, none of the Royals attended the court sessions over the years, but William earlier presented statements criticizing the paparazzi for the offensive gesture.
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.
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.
Today’s judgement, was handed down by presiding judge Florence Lasserre-Jeannin