07/26/2011

Monaco royals sue magazine over marriage rumours

New royals
With her husband Prince Albert watching in the background, Princess Charlene of Monaco presents a medal to David Rudisha of Kenya after he won the men's 800-metre race at the Monaco Diamond League track and field meet at Louis II stadium this week. (Reuters)

Monaco’s royal newlyweds have struck back at rumours of marriage problems with a lawsuit against a French magazine.

Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock are suing L’Express for invasion of privacy and “incorrect facts,” their lawyer Thierry Lacoste told AFP.

In the wake of the couple’s marriage July 1-2, the Paris magazine reported that Wittstock had tried to flee Monaco for her South African home, but was stopped. The attempt came after she discovered Albert had fathered his third child out of wedlock, the magazine reported.

That report was followed by intense speculation that the couple’s marriage was a sham. The rumours were all denied by the couple.

Monaco’s minister of state, Michel Roger, also came to the defence of the royals, saying the reports are “all false.”

He said Wittstock’s supposed flight to freedom was actually a trip to Greece for the Special Olympics. Roger added that there is also proof that Prince Albert has not fathered a third child.

Last week, Albert told journalists the rumours were “born of jealousy.”

“I have always respected the freedom of expression, but spreading false information is lamentable and subject to criminal penalties,” the prince said.

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