London : After days of furore, a French court today blocked the future publication of topless photos of Prince William’s wife Kate Middleton sunbathing while on a holiday and asked ‘Closer’ magazine to hand over the original pictures to the royal couple within 24 hours. The court injunction came after William and Kate, both 30, took legal action against the French magazine for selling and distributing the images.
The publishers must give the originals to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge within 24 hours, the court said. The magazine, which published 14 images of Kate on Friday, will face a fine of 8,000 pounds for every breach if it re-publishes or distributes the photos. The photographs were also published by the Irish edition of Daily Star, whose editor has been suspended.
No British newspaper has printed the pictures. The photographs were taken while Kate was sunbathing on a private holiday with Prince William at a French chateau earlier this month. The couple argued that the publication of the photos by the French magazine breached their privacy. The BBC reported from Paris that the ruling came after prosecutors said they were considering whether there were grounds for criminal charges. The decision to begin the preliminary criminal probe follows a formal complaint by the royals to prosecutors, with aides saying they were looking for proceedings against both the magazine and the photographer who took the pictures. Aurelien Hamelle, the lawyer representing Prince William and Kate, said the photos captured were intimate and personal and had no place on the front page of a magazine, but a lawyer for Closer reportedly claimed the royal couple’s reaction was disproportionate.
Meanwhile, Irish Daily Star editor Michael O’Kane has been suspended while an internal investigation is carried out into the publication of Kate’s photographs, BBC said.
The royal couple are on the final leg of their nine-day Diamond Jubilee tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific and are currently on the island of Tuvalu. —PTI