Kate wins damages over intrusive photos

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PARIS: A French court ruled Tuesday that a French celebrity magazine must pay 100,000 euros in damages to Britain´s Prince William and his wife Kate over topless photos of the duchess published in 2012.

The court also ordered Closer magazine´s editor Laurence Pieau and publisher Ernesto Mauri to each pay 45,000 euros ($53,000) in fines, the maximum possible.

The couple had sought 1.5 million euros in damages and interest, but said they were “pleased” with the verdicts after a “serious breach of privacy.”

“They wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen,” said a statement issued by a spokesperson.

The grainy snaps of Kate Middleton sunbathing in a bikini bottom were taken while she was on holiday in September 2012 in the south of France with her husband, the second in line to the British throne.

The royals — who on Monday announced they are expecting a third child — were snapped with a long lens relaxing by a pool at a chateau belonging to Viscount Linley, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth.

Closer, a glossy French gossip magazine, was the first to splash them on its cover, and they were later reproduced in several other European publications, including Chi in Italy and Ireland´s Daily Star.

The magazine´s lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins said he was “pleased” with the ruling on the damages to pay, but said the fine was “exaggerated for a simple private matter.”

The court also ordered Closer to hand over the files with the images to the royal couple.

Two Paris-based agency photographers, Cyril Moreau, 32, and Dominique Jacovides, 59, were each given fines of 10,000 euros, with 5,000 euros suspended.

After the pictures first emerged, William and Kate filed a criminal complaint for invasion of privacy and obtained an injunction preventing further use of the images.

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