01/18/2012

The gloves are off in Pippa vs. Paparazzi

Pippa Middleton, long tired of being a photographer’s target, has launched a legal counter-offensive.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister has sent some high-priced lawyers into battle with the paparazzi who have caused her “serious distress and anxiety.”

Pippa on the runLetters warning of a legal injunction have gone out this week to several photo agencies whose business it is to get candid photos of celebrities that they then sell to newspapers and magazines around the world.

Pippa has been a hot seller since the royal wedding and there isn’t a day goes by where photographers aren’t parked outside her flat in London to snap her every movement as she goes to work.

“It is extremely intimidating to our client to have to face a group of unknown men outside her home and office who pursue her both day and night,” said the letter from the firm Harbottle and Lewis, as quoted in the Daily Mail.

The firm is been aligned with the Royal Family and acts for Prince Charles as well as Prince William and Kate.

The extent to which Pippa has become a paparazzi main course was brought to light last week when a Daily Mail editor told a media ethics inquiry that the paper routinely receives up to 400 pictures a day from freelancers snapping ‘Her Royal Hotness.’

It is generally conceded that as long as a celebrity is at a public event, they are fair game for photographers. Hence, you'll see planty of photographers aimed her way when she appears at Pippa fashionWimbledon, or a fashion show, or even competes in a race (photos, right).

Harbottle and Lewis, quoting liberally from the Protection of Harrassment Act, warned the photo agencies that the stalking must stop or she will pursue an injunction and the accompanying legal costs.

This is only the most recent skirmish between the paparazzi and the Middleton family, who had been thrust into the spotlight when Kate and William announced their engagement in November 2010.

The family has made a few formal complaints, through Harbottle and Lewis, to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission, citing harassment and an invasion of their privacy. 

WHO'S AGAINST PIPA?

The Twitter universe couldn't help itself.

The Wikipedia blackout protest on Wednesday against the a pair of U.S. bills aimed at squashing Pippa wimbledononline piracy had the unintended effect of producing all sorts of Pippa one-liners.

The bills, you see, are named the Protect Intellectural Property Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Hence, a parade of tweets:

'Free Pippa Middleton'

'Why is the US government trying to legislate Pippa Middleton? She's not even American, you guys.'

'I don't get what this protest is all about. One would think guys would be lining up to see Pippa Middleton in the bath.'

'When SOPA/PIPA were mentioned in my house last night, my parents though SOPA was Pippa Middleton's sister.'

'I'm really hoping that SOPA/PIPA is the song Pippa Middleton sings in the shower.'

'Wait. Pipppa Middleton blacked out?'

You get the idea.

 

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