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Royal family seeks damages and injunction over topless photos of Duchess of Cambridge

Sunday, 16 September 2012

*Lawyers for the royal family are to appear in a Paris court seeking damages over topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge being printed in a French magazine and an injunction preventing their further publication.*

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travel through the Solomon Islands on the back of a decorated truck (Picture: AP)

The photos were originally published in the French magazine Closer, which is separate from its UK version, while the Irish Daily Star republished them and Italian magazine Chi, like Closer published by the Mondadori media group owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said it would devote a special edition to the 13 pictures.

St James's Palace had earlier confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, currently on an official tour of Asia Pacific, would launch legal action over a 'grotesque invasion' of their privacy.

A spokesman announced on Sunday lawyers representing the couple, both 30, would appear in a Paris court tomorrow for a public hearing.

'The court hearing is in France tomorrow when the official proceedings will start at a court in Paris as the papers have been served,' the representative said.

'It is the first airing and we will be seeking an injunction from them using the pictures and it will lead to a longer court case where damages will be sought.'

Earlier, doubts were raised over the future of the Irish Daily Star after one of its UK co-owners threatened to close down the joint venture.

The publication of the topless photos has coincided with the royal couple's Diamond Jubilee tour of south-east Asia and Pacific islands (Picture: AP)

Richard Desmond, the chairman of Northern and Shell, which co-owns the Irish Daily Star along with Independent News and Media, condemned the publication of the photos, taken while Kate sunbathed with the Prince William in the south of France, and denied any prior knowledge.

'I am very angry at the decision to publish these photographs and am taking immediate steps to close down the joint venture,' Mr Desmond, whose media group owns the Daily Express and the Daily Star among other titles, said.

'The decision to publish these pictures has no justification whatever and Northern and Shell condemns it in the strongest possible terms.'

The Irish Daily Star's editor Michael O'Kane had earlier defended the decision to publish the photos in the Republic, saying Kate was no different from other celebrities like Rihanna or Lady Gaga.

Independent News and Media similarly condemned the editorial decision to publish the photos, taken while the royal couple holidayed at Chateau d'Autet, near Aix-en-Provence.

'The decision by the Irish Daily Star to republish pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from the French magazine Closer was regrettable and in poor taste,' a spokesman said.

'Independent News and Media had no prior knowledge of the decision to publish.'

Defending the decision to release a 26-page special edition devoted to the topless photos, Chi's editor Alfonso Signorini said: 'The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical.

'This is a deserving topic because it shows in a completely natural way the daily life of a very famous, young and modern couple in love.'

The National Union of Journalists meanwhile called on the co-owners of the Irish Daily Star to rescind their 'over the top' apparent threat to shut down the tabloid.

'There is no justification for putting the livelihood of workers at the Irish Daily Star in jeopardy because of disagreement over an editorial decision of this nature,' said the union's general secretary Michelle Stanistreet.

VIDEO: Topless Kate photos published

PICTURES: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continue Diamond Jubilee tour
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Source: Splash News TV - on September 17, 2012

News video: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Begin Criminal Prosecution Over Topless Snaps

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Begin Criminal Prosecution Over Topless Snaps

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to make a criminal complaint over topless photos of Kate.

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