Gossip magazine executives fined for topless photos of Duchess of Cambridge

KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP/Getty Images

NANTERRE, France — A French court gave maximum fined to two gossip magazine executives for topless photos of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

Photographs of her sunbathing topless on vacation in 2012 were an invasion of privacy, the French court ruled on Tuesday.The grainy photographs published five years ago by Closer magazine and regional newspaper La Provence showed the duchess sunbathing topless while the pair were holidaying in the south of France at a private chateau owned by Viscount Linley nephew of Queen Elizabeth.

The judge ordered that the royal couple receive 100,000 euros in damages and issued individual fines of 45,000 to 50,000 euros (about $54,000 to $60,000) the editor of a local glossy magazine and other individuals associated with the publication of the photographs.

The duchess, and her husband Prince William, had been seeking 1.5 million euros (nearly $1.8 million) in damages.

At the time, Prince William slammed the decision to print the images of his wife as “particularly shocking” in light of his late mother’s battles with the paparazzi.

Diana, Princess of Wales, died two decades ago in a car accident as she fled from photographers in Paris, when her sons were aged 15 and 12.

“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so,” a palace spokesman said in 2012.

In 2012, Closer was fined by a French court for printing the images and banned from distributing the print magazine and online. The court also ordered the publication to turn over the original images to the royal family within 24 hours of the ruling and pay them 2,000 euros (around $2,600).

The ruling comes a day after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced they are expecting their third child together. The baby will be fifth in line to the throne.