Britain’s Duchess Catherine and Prince William have won an injunction preventing a magazine from publishing further topless pictures of the brunette royal.
Mondadori France, French Closer magazine’s publishing company, will be fined €10,000 (R107 711) a day if they publish further topless paparazzi images of Catherine sunbathing or transmit them to a third party via email or any other means, it has been ruled in a French court.
It was also decided that Mondadori – owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – will have to pay €2,000 (R21 576) towards legal fees.
A court in Nanterre, near Paris, opened a separate criminal investigation earlier today over the publication of the images in the magazine after a formal complaint was made on behalf of Catherine and William, who are currently in the final stages of an Asia Pacific tour.
The initial investigation will be carried out by BRDP, a branch of the French police. The decision will allow a prosecutor to decide whether or not to proceed with a full investigation into whether Closer magazine and the photographer broke the couple’s right to privacy. Separately, the board of a newspaper that published the topless photos will meet today to consider closing the paper, it said.
Meanwhile, the paparazzi who took the nude snaps – Valerie Suau – is said to be in hiding. However, she denies selling anything “explicit” to the French publication, saying the photographs – which see Kate taking her bikini top off – were “decent”.
Investigators for the royal couple are keen to question her about the day she took the pictures and find out if anyone else was involved. If found guilty of any wrongdoing, the photographer and editor of Closer, Laurence Pieau, could face a year in prison.